Skip to main content

Full text of "MONSTROID 01"

See other formats


ISSUE 1 
AUTUMN 1992 


& Pef^ Jackso, 
Intei^iaw^ i 

- 

Shaufi^ Huiilsoi 


3 analyser 


HORROR • SCIENCE-FICTION • SLEAZE • EXPLOITATION 








ISSUE 1 AUTUMN 1992 



CREATORS OF 

[M]®Rflg‘ir®(fl)D[D DKiMd/SgDKfli 

ARE PLEASED TO OFFER THE 
FOLLOWING 

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 

DESIGN LAYOUT PRINTING 
PHOTOGRAPHY 


Editor JOHN HILL 

Published by IMAGERY PUBLICATIONS 
Commerciai Manager GUY STANILAND 
Production Manager DAVID BOURNE 
Artwork/Design JOHN FIDLER 

Designrt.ayout 

WAYNE ATKIN, ANTHONY BRETTEN, GARETH HEWARD, 
JOHN HILL, KEVIN SMITH, PAUL (POL) TAYLOR 

Cover Design ANTHONY BRETTEN 

MONSTROID MAGAZINE IS A QUARTERLY 
PUBLICATION AVAILABLE FROM:- 

IMAGERY STUDIOS, PEN STREET, BOSTON, 

LINCS PE21 6TF, UK 

TELEPHONE: 0205 368460 / FAX: 0205 354867 


ARTWORK/GRAPHICS 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR/CONTRIBUTIONS/FANZINES 
FOR REVIEW TO:- 

JOHN HILL, 29 SKIRBECK ROAD, BOSTON. LINCS PE21 6DA 


COMPUTER GENERATED 
VIDEO GRAPHICS G EDITING 
(U-MATICI 


CREATURE S CHARACTER 
CONCEPTS 



IMAGERY STUDIOS, PEN STREET, 
BOSTON, LINCS PE21 6TF 
TEL: 0205 368460 FAX: 0205 354867 


Contributors 

DAVID ALEXANDER, NIGE BARTLETT, STEVE CHAMBERS, 
JOHN FIDLER, DAVID GREENALL, RICHARD GRIFFITHS, 
PAUL HIG50N, JOHN HILL, MARK HOCKLEY, GARETH 
JAMES, NICK JOHNSON, GREG LAMB, KEN MILLER, JOHN L 
PROBERT, MICHAEL SLATTER, 

Acknowledgements 

THANKS TO THE ASSOCATES, THE BRITISH FANTASY 
SOCIETY. NICK CAIRNS, CBS/FOX, SIMON CLARKE (A.F.C), 
DARK CARNIVAL, DSA ASSOCIATES, FIRST INDEPENDENT, 
CHARLES H. FOX, GUILD, HEADLINE, SHAUN HUTSON, 
PETER JACKSON, CRAIG LEDBETTER, LITTLE BROWN, JOHN 
MARTIN, MEDUSA, KEN MILLER, PERFECT FILM FEATURES, 
RANK, RCA/COLUMBIA, SIMITAR ENTERTAINMENT, 
TROMA, 20TH CENTURY FOX, 20/20 VISION, UIP PICTURES, 
VIDEODROM, VIDEO VULTURE, JOHN WOODBRIDGE 
AND ALL THE VARIOUS MAGAZINE EDITORS, 
CONTRIBUTORS, SUPPLIERS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC 
MATERIAL, AND MOST OF ALL YOU FOR READING ALL 
THESE DREARY CREDITS - DON'T YOU HAVE 
ANYTHING BETTER TO DO? 

ADVERTISING RATES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST 
Subscriptions 

A FOUR ISSUE SUBSCRIPTION IS AVAILABLE FROM 
THE EDITORIAL ADDRESS. 

UK £8 (POST FREE), U.S. £16 (INC. P&P), 

EUROPE £12 (INC. P&P). 

PLEASE MAKE CHEQUES/P.O.S PAYABLE TO: 
IMAGERY PUBLICATIONS. 

NOTE; FOREIGN ORDERS IN INTERNATIONAL M/0 
OR CURRENCY ONLY 
(NO FOREIGN CHEQUES) 

ALL COPYRIGHT REVERTS TO INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS 

NO PART OF THIS MAGAZINE MAY BE REPRODUCED 
WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION. 


FRONT/BACK COVERS: 8RAIN DEAD (PHOTOS BY PIERRE VINET). 





mms TflKllI [KlDQiL 


C ast your mind back approximately half 
a decade. After years of relative inac- 
tivity. the United Kingdom small- 
press, or fanzine if you will, field suddenly 
jolted into life with a pair of seminal publi- 
cations, SHOCK XPRESS, written by knowl- 
edgeable professionals, and SAMHAIN 
penned by enthusiastic first-timers. In the 
wake of these two torch-bearers came a 
slew of well-intentioned offspring, at the 
fore-front of which was one WHIPLASH 
SMILE, a magazine which was regarded as 
one of the UK's best amateur publications, 
and certainly one of the most successful. So 
why am I divulging this to you? Well read- 
er, 'twas I who was responsible for WS, 
which ran for about three years and gar- 
nered a reputation for varied and unusual 
content, as well as being, most importantly 
readable. 

Admittedly I dived headfirst into WS with 
little or no knowledge of what such a ven- 
ture would entail, more or less finding my 
footing as I progressed, and ultimateiy 
after six issues of experimentation, the 
beast was grudgingly laid to rest. And so 
after all this time, here we are again. The 
genesis of the magazine you are now 
clutching came about through a venture 
entered into at my place of employment, 
where it was suggested I relaunch 
WHIPLASH SMILE in a more professional 
format. Looking back in retrospect. WS was 
okay, it succeeded in its initial aims, which 
like those of most solely amateur zines is to 
meet like-minded enthusiasts, put across 
your viewpoints, and become a general 
forum for opinion and conversation, all fair 
enough, but in actuality WS began finding 
its way into places that in reality, it never 
deserved to be, it was never intended as a 
widespread distribution deal, and it started 
to take up too much of my life, hence its 
somewhat premature burial. Therefore to 
raise WS phoenix-like I think would have 
been an error, however, the idea of 
launching some sort of publication was too 
appealing to let go, therefore armed with 
the inside knowledge of all the pitfalls and 
joys of fanzine production, the decision 
was reached to give birth to MONSTROID! 
You may think that there is no place for 
yet another 'horror' related magazine in an 
already bloated market place, and who 
knows, in a few issues' time I may well be 
agreeing with you, but in honesty, if I 
didn't think I could add something of merit 
to the genre then I wouldn't be bothering. 
For when I scour the current crop of publi- 
cations I can't help but feel something is 
missing. SHOCK XPRESS for instance, which 
led the field by acres has given up the 
ghost and seemingly mutated into a one- 
off annual (which in fact has the equiva- 
lent page count of four issues, and the 
price of eight! Exploitation is a very easy 
area to exploit - you said it StefanI); 
SAMHAIN to me at least has turned into 
everything it set out to abhor in the miser- 
ably declined STARBURST; Alan Jones' 
SHIVERS should have been the publication 
to turn the field around but instead has, on 
the evidence of its first few editions, 
become the British equivalent of FANGO- 
RIA, with endless set visits and interviews, 
and little or no critical standpoint. (In fact 
in contradiction to said magazine's 
Cronenbergian monicker I almost named 
this publication RABID as that is one thing 
Jones' rag isn't!). Then we're off into a 
'trip' through the world of true fanzines. 


which by their very nature tend to be 
and miss affairs, some shine out (UNGAWA, 
HEADPRESS) while others seem stuck in a 
permanent timewarp serving up chrono- 
logical investigations into video nasties 
(which were past their sell-by date nearly a 
decade ago!); third-rate appraisals of Dario 
Argento; misinformed enthusiasm for gen- 
erally dull, though evidently 'hip' product 
(yes we're talktng Hong Kong cinema 
here!), and do-it-by numbers film reviews 
which usually re-tread the plot in its entire- 
ty, summarise with "This film is neat, the 
monsters are great etc, etc" then round the 
whole fiasco off with a rating informing us 
of the amount of gore spilled! Perhaps this 
is what certain audiences want, perhaps I'm 
missing the point entirely, but at a time 
when horror and exploitation is at one of 
its lowest ebbs in years, regards quality 
product, and the whole genre is in danger 
of being swamped in juvenile mentality, I 
feel someone should be pointing out to a 
potential audience, why a certain film is 
good and why another should be trashed, 
no matter how many intestines were 
removed throughout its duration. To this 
end I feel the two primary ingredients of a 
magazine should be to educate and enter- 
tain - with MONSTROID this is my aim. 
Finding suitable content should pose no 
problem, there's vast amounts of material 
out there which has gone by unnoticed, 
and even some of the more obvious materi- 
al can be covered, if in an original fashion. 
My personal preferences these days lie in 
the older more obscure product, so going 
with this, and mating with my intention to 
educate on newer product, MONSTROID 
will be aiming for a 50/50 blend of contem- 
porary and vintage material, half main- 
stream, half obscure. Additionally, for a 
magazine to survive in this present reces- 
sion-festering climate. It is vital to appeal 
to as many readers as possible, slightly cal- 
culated perhaps, but it is my intention to 
cast the nets out as far as possible and 
trawl in a thorough cross-section of reader- 
ship, hopefully appealing to the novice and 
know-it-all enthusiast. Each issue of MON- 
STROIO should have a wildly eclectic gath- 
ering of topics; and to disassociate our- 
selves from the predicable, we won't by 
any means be limiting content to 'horror' 
product, we will also encompass the worlds 
of science-fiction; sleaze and exploitation 
past and present in their various guises. 
Looking through this first issue I feel I have 
gone some way to achieving this objective. 
While the Shaun Hutson interview may not 
be the absolute pinnacle of originality, 
some of you may think that such a veteran 
of media interrogations has been 'done to 
death' in the genre press. It is worth 
reminding you that a piece with such a 
credible 'name' personality can only do the 
magazine credit with potential advertisers, 
stockists etc. Certainly a relevant factor, on 
top of which Mr Hutson always has some- 
thing interesting to say for himself. 
However going back to what I said about 
striking a balance between mainstream 
and obscure, for every more obvious piece 
such as this I'll make sure it is counter-bal- 
anced with something equally unexpected - 
such as this issue's SURVIVAL QUEST article. 
It's swings and roundabouts really, and I'd 
be interested to hear from you if you think 
I've succeeded in my aims for this first issue, 
if not what alterations could be instigated 
to improve the content? What do you want 



so see in upcoming issues? Like 
ail small-press publications, 
MONSTROID IS a forum for 
your opinions, your views, your 
suggestions - use it as such, 
please get m touch. I'm by no 
means as egotistical as this edi- 
torial might suggest, it's just that if 
you are to have any integrity in pub- 
ishing, then you must be honest with 
yourself and your readership - simple as 
that! 

For this publishing endeavour which we 
have christened MONSTROID, I have man- 
aged to cu!l together four-fifths of the 
original WHIPLASH SMILE line-up (some 
familiar names from the mists of time for 
those of you who have been part of the 
fanzine scene for some years], and supple- 
mented these with some new names who 
hopefully wiil become familiar to you. On 
the subject of contributions, freelance sub- 
mittals are encouraged, though unlike the 
days of 'SMILE where I tended to throw in 
just about anything, I will only publish 
material of relevance, and please if you are 
dubious about your writing capabilities, 
don't even bother, there are plenty of slip- 
shod rags around who'll publish anyone's 
drivel. Similarly, if you have a fanzine you 
want mentioning, I won't be running a 
regular fanzine section, that being far too 
predictable, but if you have confidence in 
your endeavour, send it along and I or 
another contributor will 'review' it within 
the confines of our TERRORTYPE coiumn. 
One thing that hopefully will make MON- 
STROID stand out in the crowd is our aim 
to get actively involved in film production, 
through our parent company IMAGERY 
STUDIOS. Unlike other publications which 
are happy to rubbish all and sundry and 
offer little of constructional guidance, we 
want to encourage intelligent enthusiasts 
who have solid ideas for a script, or direc- 
tion, special effects, whatever, but don't 
know where to direct their ambitions. This 
is an area which will develop as the maga- 
zine evoives, but each issue within our DIY 
DUNGEON column we will be pointing out 
tips on various aspects of film-production 
for fledgling Savinis or Cronenbergs. At a 
time when the British genre industry is at 
least six foot under, it would be nice to 
think we could have some part to play in 
its re-emergance, no matter how small, and 
with fans getting up off their arses to 
make their own pictures, such as the crew 
of BAD KARMA, there is obviously a pool 
of talent who might just be able to swing 
things around, so if you're out there in 
readerland and are at a loss to find some- 
one, anyone, who will take you seriously, 
then drop me a line, and share your ideas, 
tips etc. with us, you never know your luck. 
Most famous film-makers started with 
homemade efforts, and as the saying goes 
mighty oaks from acorns growl 
And that will just about do for this maiden 
flight of fancy, all the details you should 
need concerning the magazine are dis- 
played opposite, though for any letters, 
personal correspondence, hate mail, gener- 
al rabid missives, write to me direct at the 
Skirbeck Road address and utilize the Pen 
Street one for ordering and such forth. 
However, if writing to me, please enclose 
an SAE if you require a reply. So I'll leave 
you to enjoy this first fright, express my 
thanks to all involved in putting the thing 
together, remind you to get writing, and 
depart with the thoroughly predictable: 
"Death to WHIPLASH SMILE, long live 
MONSTROID!" 

JOHN HILL 

EDITOR 

29.9.92 





m 

m 

M 

Ml 

R 

irii 

ROt 

(James istema-iews Jkaas Jatsos 


Shaun Hutson's living room appears totally obstinate to the 'bad boy' of literature's public image of hell, leather and 
horror. A walk through fireplace, carved table lamps and ornate furniture occupy its generous space. A subtle hint at 
Hutson's more sinister occupation may lie with a dark wood cabinet tucked into the corner of the room. On it is a 
model of a human head, spider legs bursting forth, a captured transformation scene from Carpenters "THE THING". 
Frozen blood drips from the legs and head of the tableaux while the mouth is contorted into a permanent silent scream. 

While Hutson's grim relic looks on we settle into armchairs with Metallica's latest album rumbling in the 
background, and with it brings some explanation of Hutson's unprecedented rise to fame within the realm of dark 
fiction. Metallica themselves in retrospect the merchants of thrash, screaming vocals, white noise guitars, frenzied 'take 
no prisoners' hardcore noise. Hutson himself, "DEATHDAY". "SHADOWS", "RELICS" graphic horror literature's equal 
to the spitting venom of Metallica's no compromise sound. Breathless, anarchic but scorned by their respective genres. 
Bloody good, but no-one took them seriously. 

Now as Metallica lie at the pinnacle of rock success, older, wiser and sacrosanct so Hutson enjoys sales only 
equalled by that of King and Herbert. His books have drawn praise from the "Sunday Times" through to the pages of 
"Metal Forces" giving Hutson a high public profile enhanced by his appearances on the 'Jonathan Ross Show'. The 
speed may have slowed but the vehemence and razor edge remain with both now finally earning the once reluctant 
accolades so long denied. 

As our conversation swings between Nirvana, films and the occasional jaunt upstairs to thrash the resident Hutson 
drumkit (the hi-hat set uncomfortably low), we settle on Hutson's latest batch of nilhistic novels so apt for the so called 
'brave new world' of the 90's. 


“Your latest novel 'HEATHEN" seems to be a 
departure from the typical Hutson voice of 
too miles an hour horror crammed with 
bloody fatalities. Did you make a conscious 
attempt to lower the body count for any 
reason or did the novel demand something 
different?". 

“There has never been a lime when I have sal 
down in my career and thoughl if I write a 
honk in a particular way and style that it will 
a[)[>eal to a particular market. "HEATHEN" was 
tompleied in the same way all the others were 
- what I wanted to write about at that particular 
lime, the same ethnic I’ve had ever since I 
started writing. Looking back on "HEATHEN" 
with two women as main characters and like 
you say its reduced body count I suppose is 



going to give it a greater appeal than say 
something like "ASSASSIN". 

"Why women as the main characters?" 

"From I suppose "VICTIMS" onwards I never 
wanted my women characters to just be 
'damsels in distress’. Thais one thing I've 
always hated about some horror movies • the 
women just existing as 'cannon-fodder' to be 
rescued by the square-jawed hero. The thing 
also with "HEATHEN" is that not just men go 
out for revenge, 'Hell hath no fury like a 
women scorned' as the saying goes. There's no 
reason why the desire for vengeance should be 
the exclusive preserve of the male ethic, 
Bronson in "DEATHWISH' as a prime example. 
Why is it just not as acceptable as a women to 
avenge the death oi her husband as 
"HEATHEN" illustrates". 

"With this in mind how do you think 
"HEATHEN" will be received, particularly by 
your fans, so acquainted with the usual level 
of gore and violence?" 

Tike you say the body count is lower, but 1 
• iii.illv think its one of the nastier books I've 
written in view of lone and atmosphere - 
similar to Ihe nature of "NEMESIS". 

"is this an area of your novels that you will 
explore more?". 

"The books are certainly becoming darker and 
darker. I know my readers aren't stupid and 
that they're going to think that just because I've 
dropped the bocly count that I’ve 'gone soft' or 
whatever, I certainly think that there's no way 
that you could describe "HEATHEN" as a 'soft' 
novel, not by any stretch of the imagination. 

"CAPTIVES" again I would describe as a very 
dark thriller, probably more so than 
“HEATHEN" because there's no supernatural 
threat in there at all. To lie honest I feel more at 
home in the territory say of that of "ASSASSIN" 


and "HEATHEN" than say in the small town 
with an ancient curse like "FKFBUS" was set. 

"DEADHEAD" due out next year returns very 
much to "CAPTIVES" territory. A private 
detective runs in to a snuff movie operation in 
search of his lost daughter add to this the fact 
he's just been diagnosed as having terminal 
cancer and I suppose you've got a right cheery 
little tale!. Its more terrifying than zombies, 
werewolfs or whatever because its real. If 
you've got a horror story with a central thread 
running through it that readers can identify 
with then the horror becomes greater because 
it could actually happen to themselves. If 
people would stop judging me for a minute on 
how many people are dead by the end of 
chapter one and look at a novel say in its 
overall 'nastiness' then I think they probably 
would appreciate it more". 

"Do the monikers 'Baron Of Blood’. ‘Prince Of 
Puke' hinder you then?" 

"No, I certainly don't object to them. I'd never 
turn round and say something like 
(patronisingly) 'don't ever call me that' or 'I’m 
outraged by that' because it would be like 
saying that all the novels before "HEATHEN" 
were beneath me, like I was trying to reach 
some sort of artistic plateau or something. A lot 
of it is that the things that interested me when I 
was 22 and writing "SLUGS" are not the same 
as things that interest me at .33 and writing 
"HEATHEN". 

I’m in no way ashamed of these titles in fact the 
’Emperor Of Excess' is still one of my 
favourites, but the violence now is more 
psychological and emotional than physical- To 
be honest my view of Ihe world has grown 
much darker as luckily I've become more 
successful. I don’l know why really, its just 
being mirrored in the way I'm writing at Ihe 
moment." 

"Will "HEATHEN" see a different marketing 
approach away from the 'King Of Horror' 
themes?. 


4 





"Its goinfi to bp marketed differently because its 
going to appeal to people who say would never 
touch a horror novel with a bargepole. The 
book buyers who say 'I don't read horror' are 
usually ibe ones that have never picked up a 
horror novel in their lives. I( they did they'd 
prohablv enjoy the experience. 

I suppose Its because people who say just read 
thrillers never go past the thriller section, as 
with (teopic who read romance never go past 
the romance section. 1 hope in a way that it 
will widen mv readership and I know that the 
hardcore fans won't be disappointed with it 
either." 

“Some scenes from both 'CAPTIVES’ and 
'HEATHEN' are pretty strong stuff. Have you 
or your publishers ever been templed to 'pull' 
certain pages because they could be loo 
disturbing and draw intense criticism?" 

"Only my first publishers the defunct W.H. 
Allen ever censored one of my novels which 
was about eight or nine years ago. They 
wanted me to do a novelisation of 'THE TEXAS 
CHAINSAW MASSACRE' but Tobe Hooper 
wanted loo much for the rights. One of W.H 
Allen's editors just told me to do a story about 
a nutter yvilh a chainsaw and go as tar over the- 
top as possible. The resulting manuscript was 
"CHAINSAW TERROR" which I wrote under 
Nick Blake. When I submitted it thev rang up 
and said they were going to have to tut it and 
25 pages duly yycnl including a chainsaw rape 
scene which was extremely graphic to c.iy the 
least. 

There's a good chance that next year the book 
will 1>e includc'd in a Shaun Hutson omnibus ol 
stuff I did under other names, similar to King's 
'The Bachman Books' I suppose. The 25 pages 
will be re-inslaled incidentally." 

“Have you ever regrelled any of your worst 
gross out scenes - babies in microwaves for 
instance?" 

"No never. There's not one single scene from 
all my books that I’d like to lake out. Parts of 
■NEMESIS" lor instance were very nasty to 
write about because they involved children. 
But it was right for that particular novel." 

"There's nowhere you'd draw the line?" 

"No, as long as it fits m with the plot and Is 
necessary. There are things that it is not 
necessary to describe as with the beginning of 
■NEMESIS". There was no need for me to 
describe the murder of a lour year old girl 
because just the thought of that is horrific 
enough. It would be just overkill and ismiles) 
even I know that". 

"Is there a novel that you would like to do but 
for personal or literary reasons you wouldn't 
do?" 

"Well if I jumped out of bed one morning and 
felt like doing a Western novel Ihere'd be little 
point because there's no market for it. I'd be 
wasting my own time and that of the book 
company trying to sell it. 

But in answer to your question I've never 
decided against writing a book that I felt would 
fall say somewhere in the thriller/horror genres. 
The bwk I’m working on at the moment "THE 
BUTCHERS WINDOW" has only one dcalh in 
it. It's about a stand up comedian who gets 
involved in an incredibly intense sado- 
masochistic affair with a woman journalist. 
Again il scrapes the depths of depravity but is 
not disgusting in the sense that il was written to 
be such. Basically its about obsession and the 
lengths that people will go to pursue it. Again 
Its an incredibly dark book and I honestly don't 
knoyy- how my readers will react to it. 

There's no way "THE BUTCHERS WINDOW" 
can go in the horror category if it does it will be 
only on mv name and not on content. 
'GRAVEYARD OF DREAMS" the book to 
follow it again can't really be called a horror 
novel". 

"Are there any plans to commit more Shaun 


Hutson novels to celluloid, "SLUGS - THE 
MOVIE' not withstanding?". 

"(Groan) there's stilt a persistent, horrible 
rumour that the same people who did 'SLUGS' 
are going lo do 'BREEDING GROUND' 
sometime in the future. About a vear ago 
"SPAWN" was optioned but due to budget 
problems hasn't got oft the starting blixk. Al 
present I don't know of anything concrete 
being done. 

I'd love lo see "RENEGADES" filmed bul lo tx? 
honest 1 wouldn't like to get loo closely 
involved with il When vou sell the rights In a 
book you know there’' .i 94''.. rhance it is 
going to be a total erxk-up unless your name is 
Thomas Hams or something". 

"Have vou rated any of the films you’ve seen 
this vear?" 

I l(»ye<l 'CAPE FEAR" and "I.F k." was superh. 
Horror's big release ol the vear 'ALIEN III" was 
a disappointment, a goixi first half an hour and 
reasonably unexpected ending was about il. 
•BAT.MAN RETURNS" was belter than the 
original hut King's "SLEEPWALKERS’’ was 
apitaliing lieyond Iteliei". 

"Looking hack from "HEATHEN” lo your first 
novel "SLUGS” there is an obvious {difference 
in vour writing and content style. Do you view 
"SLUGS" any differently now?" 

I will be always known as the hloke who 
wiolv 'SlLGS -I •>•.•!)■; what even ii I won 
the BcHikv' p. i.i i.; 'unH'thmg Don I gel me 
wiong I m not having a gu .ii ilii- Ixxik. it s the 
one that slarled nve on. its one oi my biggest 
selitTs and ihev've made a him out ol it - loi 
want of a better word When people think nt 
me Its usually in Ihe terms of Shaun "Slugs" 
Hutson, bul its not representative of the stulf 
I'm doing now. My publishers said that when 



the y iriet) came out thev imagined I'd dn 
'SLUGS III' No wav, the materia) is there bul I 
would consider it a ste|i hack. "HEATHEN" is 
mute Of less where 1 want to he”. 

Shaun Hutson, killer slugs, craaed gunmen, 
homicidal psychics, undead gangsters. In the 
words of his favourite band Iron Maiden, "Hell 
ain't a bad place lo Ijc". 



5 





Let s journey back to an era when each 
successive week the inhabitants of planet 
earth fought for survival against 
everything from radiation-mutated 
arachnids to extraterrestrial vegetables. 
Our destination - The Monster Movie 
Boom of the 1950’s and 60' s. So strap 
yourself in. gef your 3D specs at the 

ready, and for God's sake 

.keep watching the sky!!!! 


THE BRAinilAC 

aka: EL BARON DEL TERROR, MEXICO 1961 

DIRECTED BY; CHANO URETA. 

STARRING; ABEL SALAZAR, RUBEN R0)0, 
GERMAN ROBLES, ROSA MARIA CALI ARDO, 
RENE CARDONA, ARIADNA WELTNER. 

More wacky Mexican japes from south of the 
border. Tve seen some weird stuff over the 
years, but this is really something! 

The film's producer, Abel Salazar, takes the 
lead role as the evil Baron Vilelius, tortured 
and burned by the Mexican equivalent of the 
Spanish Inquisition for crimes relating to the 
practise of black magic and sorcery. The 
laughing Baron places a curse on the 
descendants of the Inquisitors, promising them 
that some heinous atrocities will befall them in 
years to come. 

1960's Mexico - a comet falls to earth in a 
fireball. From the meteor debris emerges the 
20lh century Baron. Elegantly dressed in a 
dinner lux, the Baron now has pointed ears, a 
huge, hairy, inflatable head, arms that end in 
pincers and a two fool longue to bool! With a 
tongue like that the Baron is going to find the 
ladies of ill repute very interested in him and 
he proceeds to try his new found appendage 
out on the local whores. The first victim to fall 
foul of the longue is a prostitute (Ariadna 
Weller) who succumbs lo the Baron (in his 
human form) whilst moping around a seedy 
bar. Just as they are about to kiss, the Baron's 
face changes into the huge hairy monster and 
out comes the tongue which is used to suck the 
brains from the victim! The Baron carries a 
small urn with him in which he keeps a handy 
supply of brains (S.A. no doubt) for later 
consumption. 

The next seventy five minutes or so merely 
documents the Baron’s revenge, the methodical 
killing of his victims in the bizarre manner of 
extracting their brains with the longue. The 
Baron is evenlually destroyed with a flame 
thrower, dying again in flames as he did at the 
start of the film. 

Surprisingly enough, Ureta's approach lo this 
film is one of straight faced hysteria. The whole 
concept is absurd in the extreme (ain't the\ 
all?) naturally, but I couldn't help but think that 
Ureta was totally serious when making this 
film. There is little or nothing in the way of 
intentional laughs but all comic relief is to be 
had at Ureta's expense. However, having said 
that, THE BRAINIAC is a very atmospheric film 
and oozes surrealism. Rene Cardona makes an 
appearance somewhere, it's probably short due 
to the absence of any female wrestling. The 
ludicrous special effects and comic book script 
often overshadow the stylish elements of the 
film which is a bit of a shame, but then again, 
would the film have has been as enjoyable 


without the inflatable head and two foot 
tongue? Null said! 

Slip into your favourite comfy chair, keep the 
fridge stocked with ice cool bottles of Dos 
Equis cervezas and let your mind slowly 
disintegrate with the deluge of unearthly 

monstrosities on show. THE BRAINIAC It 

will leave you aghast! 

NICE BARTLETT 


THE GIANT CLAW 

USA 1957 

DIRECTED BY; FRED f , SEARS. 

STARRING; lEFF MORROW; MARA CORAY; 
MORRIS ANKRUM: EDGAR BARRIER. 

Producer Sam Kalzman must have gone off his 
head when he produced this. Being king of 
tack and 50's trash and producing such films as 
'TEENAGE CRIME WAVE' and 'CREATURE 
WITH THE ATOM BRAIN', he came up with 
the idea of a giant chicken from outer space, 
who has a force field for protection and a taste 
for American planes. 

Mara Corday (Playboy's Miss Oct 58) and leff 
Morrow are scientists out to stop this 'flying 
nightmare' from crushing New York and ruling 
the World. The bird is a big floppy puppet 
(wires showingl who looks like it has just come 
off the set of the muppets. This, along with the 
asloundingly bad script and acting and the 
New York destruction scenes (stolen from 
EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS, another 
Katzman film) make this a Must See. 

After watching this I can guarantee that there 
wont lye a dry eye in the house. It takes a hell 
of a lack of talent to make a film lhal is this 
crazy and to think that all the cast actually took 
it all seriously, which makes it even funnier to 
watch. Inane and thoroughly enjoyable! 

GREG LAMB. 


THE KILLER SHREWS 

USA 1959 

DIRECTED BY RAY KELLOGG, 

STARRING iAMES BEST; INGRID GOUDE; 
BARUCH LUMET; KEN CURTIS; CORDON 
McLENDON. 

We are greeted with yet another po-faced 
monologue informing us of the planet's most 
fearsome creature - a beast that devours every 
morsaf of its victims, even the bones! What 
dire monster can this be? Well after some 
atmospheric thunder and lightening , up roll 
the credits - THE KILLER SHREWS! 


Yes, it's time to head off into ridiculous 
monster land once again, in this kooky 
adventure about genetic experimentation run 
amok, resulting in an island teaming with wolf- 
sized ferocious shrews! Unfortunately riverboal 
captain Best has to shack up on the isle for the 
night due to an impending hurricane, and we 
are soon plunged into a familiar siege situation 
as Best and his cohorts are trapped in the 
desolate research lab, whilst an army of flesh- 
hungry shrews gather outside. 

THE KILLER SHREWS is a fine case in point of 
just what depths of banality the film-makers of 
the I950'5 could plumit to in order to get 
onboard the creature feature bandwagon, the 
era certainly gave us some inane monsters, but 
these suckers just have to be seen! A mixture of 
thoroughly unconvincing puppets, and for the 
most part merely hapless canines enshrouded 
in rugs to form an embarrassingly incompetent 
result. However, there's an undeniable charm 
lo such a nieve movie, and although the film is 
too lalky by half, and the characters so one 
dimensional that when they are shown in 
profile they invariably disappear, (you just have 
lo witness the acting, for choice of a better 
term, of ex-Miss Universe Ingrid Goude - a 
spectacle!) THE KILLER SHREWS unbelievably 
does have its moments, not least of which 
when the protagonists attempt their escape 
huddled inside upturned oil drums!! 

THE KILLER SHREWS was shol back to back, 
and put out on a double-bill with THE GIANT 
GILA MONSTER, a superior monster-mash. 
SHREWS has appearances from most of the 
production crew, and director Kellogg went on 
to helm the amazingly heavy-handed lohn 
Wayne Vietnam vehicle THE GREEN BERETS, a 
film which like THE KILLER SHREWS also 
found its way into Tim Healy’s 'The World’s 
Worst Movies' bonk - I suppose you just can't 
please all the people all the lime? 


JOHN HILL. 



You never know when the 
nibbles might strike!!!! 
KILLER SHREWS 



MONSTER A GO GO 

USA 1%5 

DIRECTED BY BILL REBANE, ADDITIONAL 
FOOTAGE BY HERSCHELL CORDON LEWIS. 
STARRING PHIL MORTON; JUNE TRAVIS; 
GEORGE PERRY; LOIS BROOKE: HENRY 
HEIGHT. 

MONSTER A CO CO Is a wild grade Z bill- 
filler with a fascinating parentage. Starling off 
in life as TERROR AT HALFDAY under the 
direction of Bill Rebane, Ibe man who would 
later go on to THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION 
(What a guyl), Ihe film lay on the shelf 
uncompleted for some time until the Godfather 
of gore himself H,C, Lewis picked it up in view 
to shoving it out as a second on Ihe bill feature 
to MOONSHINE MOUNTAIN, Adding extra 
footage and the most unbelievable deadpan 
narration since THE CREEPING TERROR, the 
film became MONSTER A GO GO, which as it 
stands is without doubt one of the few films 
which can rub shoulders with the worst of Ed 
Wood |r for sheer depth-pluming ineptitude! 



PMl MORTON JONE IRAVB 


ntUMta n • I • i mxiMN oow. 

YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A PICTURE 
URE THIS- THANK OOOONESSt 

"What you are about to see may not even be 
possible...” states the narrator by way of an 
introduction, and suddenly we’re off into a 
devastating psycholronic journey detailing the 
exploits of an astronaut whose shuttle 
crashlands on Earth, and under the exposure of 
massive levels of radialion, he somehow 
mutates into a grotesque ten foot giant! Unreal 
stuff, as the piot comes and goes at whim, 
footage is crudely inserted, in fact it becomes 
fun trying to work out who pul in what, one 
scene of a girl running out of gas and being 
helped by a friendly passer-by for instance, has 
absolutely nothing to do with the narrative 
whatsoever! The monologue continues "bodies 
were horribly mangled in a way never seen 
before., .like dried prunes!", as our deformed 
astronaut goes on the rampage and fears mount 
that his levels of radioactivity may be enough 
to contaminate anyone within a fifty mile 
radius! Chicago is duly evacuated, or at least 
we are told it is, all we witness are a couple of 
police cars patrolling the same empty multi- 
story car park, in an example of poverty row 
cinema technique which just has to bo seen. As 
for the big finale, after a bout of mulling around 
sewers, well there isn't one • obviously the 
budget had been totally annihilated by this 
juncture, so we get an outrageously ambiguous 
ending, where the astronautfgiant/monster or 


whatever it is, simply disappears - amazing! 
MONSTER A GO GO is yet another trash 
obscurity unearthed by the near-legendary 
Sinister Cinema video label in the Slates, and if 
you think you've seen some turkeys, lusl track 
down this gem, you ain't seen nothing vet! 

JOHN HILL. 

NAVYVb 

THE NIGHT MONSTERS 

USA 1965 

DIRECTED BY MICHAEL HOEY 

STARRING MAMIE VAN DOREN; ANTHONY 
EISLEY: PAMELA MASON; BILL CRAY; BOBBY 
VAN. 

Devotees of trash cinema, particularly those 
who saw fit to nail a dustbin lid to their 
homestead exterior in an attempt to capture 
various sleaze oddities from outer space, 
should rightly kick themselves if they missed 
this near-legendary caper when it turned up 
unannounced on the German RTL channel a 
while back. 

Bearing in mind Ihe print 1 viewed as indeed in 
the German Tortgue. some guess-work was 
called upon to luHv fathom the plot intricacies 
But to Ihe best oi ms knowledge, msslerious 
acid spitting plants turn up in the Antarctic and 
iind themselves aboard a United Slates naval 
plane, which dumps them oft in a South Seas 
research station, where they duly go on ihe 
rampage. 

NAVY Vs THE NIGHT MONSTERS comes on 
like a warped DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, though 
manages to throw in such off-the-wall moments 
as a soldier getting his arm amputated by one 
of the fiendish flora. The film is competent 
enough excepting an ineptly inserted slock 
aircrash reel, where onlookers grimmace 
wildly, similarly at Ihe film's close continuity 
collapses completely as further slock footage, 
of bombing raids, is wheeled oul mercilessly, 
in fact in one scene it would appear the US 
navy aerobatic team (Ihe Blue Angels) is called 
upon to bomb the devilish plants! 

What mainly brought about NIGHT 
MONSTER'S cull status is its renowned 
exploitation cast, most noleable being the 
voluptuous Van Doren, a Hollywood sex 
Goddess of trash movies, seen here in one of 
her Iasi roles. Also onboard for Ihe trip is trusty 
Anthony Eisley an actor who appeared with 
Elvis in FRANKIE AND lOHNNY, and trooped 
his way through endless trash epics such as Ted 
V Mikel's DOLL SQUAD; Al Adamson’s 
DRACULA V FRANKENSTEIN and a slew of 
David L. Hewitt productions including 
lOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF TIME: THE 
MIGHTY GORCA and something enlilled 
MONSTROID - how odd! 

As a footnote, foreign satellite channels have 
also spewn up of late, Fred Olen Ray's T&A 
extravaganza BAD GIRLS FROM MARS; the 
amazing SOs oddity SHE DEMONS and even 
Larry Buchanan's CURSE OF THE SWAMP 
CREATURE among its more staple diet of semi- 
clad Italian housewives. With the more 
predictable pay movie channels even 
unearthing the occasional gem, the uncut 
DERANGED and the SOs big bug epic THE 
BLACK SCORPION to name but two, evidently 
an in-depth look into 'satellite shite' merits 
further investigation within these very 
pages stay tuned. 

JOHN HILL 



MAMIE VAN DOREN 
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY 


1953 FORBIDDEN DIR: RUDOLPH MATE 
THE ALL AMERICAN DIR; (ESSE HIBBS 

1954 FRANCIS JOINS THE WAC5 DIR: 
ARTHUR LUBIN 

YANKEE PASHA DIR: JOSEPH PEVNEY 

1955 AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' DIR; EDWARD 
BUZZELL 

RUNNING WILD DIR: ABNER BIBERMAN 

1956 THE SECOND GREATEST SEX DIR: 
GEORGE MARSHALL 

STAR IN THE DUST DIR: CHARLES HAAS 
THE GIRL IN BLACK STOCKINGS DIR; 
HOWARD W. KOCH 

1957 UNTAMED YOUTH DIR; HOWARD W. 
KOCH 

1958 TEACHER'S PET DIR: GEORGE SEATON 
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL lAKA; 
YOUNG HELLIONS) DIR; JACK ARNOLD 

1959 GUNS, GIRLS AND GANSTERS DIR: 
EDWARD CAHN 

THE BEAT GENERATION (AKA: THIS REBEL 

AGE) DIR: CHARLES HAAS 

GIRLS TOWN (AKA: INNOCENT AND THE 

DAMNED) DIR: CHARLES HAAS 

BORN RECKLESS DIR: HOWARD W, KOCH 

THE BIG OPERATOR (AKA: ANATOMY OF A 

SYNDICATE) DIR: CHARLES HAAS 

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ADAM AND EVF DIR: 

ALBERT ZUGSMITH AND MICKEY ROONEY 

PIER 5, HAVANA DIR: EDWARD CAHN 

1960 SFX KITTENS CO TO COLLEGE (AKA; 
THE BEAUTY AND THE ROBOT/BEAUTY 
AND THE BRAIN) DIR: ALBERT ZUGSMITH 
COLLEGE CONFIDENTIAL DIR; ALBERT 
ZUGSMITH 

VICE RAID DIR: EDWARD CAHN 

1964 THE CANDIDATE DIR: ROBERT ANGUS 
THREE NUTS IN SEARCH OF A BOLT DIR: 
TOMMY NOONAN 

1965 LAS VEGAS HILLBILLYS DIR: ARTHUR 
C. PIERCE 

THE NAVY VS THE NIGHT MONSTERS DIR: 
MICHAEL HOEY 

1967 YOU'VE GOT TO BE SMART DIR: ELLIS 
KADISON 

1968 VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF 
PREHISTORIC WOMEN DIR: DEREK THOMAS 
(PETER BOGDANOVICH) 

1986 FREE RIDE DIR:TOM TRIBOVICH 


COMPILED BY MARK HOCKLEY 



SHOmUT TO TBm)K 


THE FILMS OF CURTIS HARRINGTON 




<i97l). Set in the lV3()'s and capturing the 
period rather well, things begin to go wrong 
when Reynolds falls for a Texan millionaire 
iDennis Weaver), triggering homicidal 
behaviour from Winters. This film marked 
the beginning of a trend for Harrington, his 
subsequent work for the most part also peri- 
od .set and although his productions have 
never been particularly strong script-wise, 
the production values have always appeared 
high and certainly convincing. 

Following the reasonably successful 
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN he 
then quickly produced the memorably tilled 
WHO SLEW ANTIE ROO (1971) again 
with Shelley Winters as star, this time set in 
the 1920'.s and filmed in England. An excel- 
lent supporting cast bolstered the at limes 
floundering screenplay (whose writers 
included Hammer regular Jimmy Sangster 
and DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN co-author 
Robert Blees). notably Lional Jeffries. Ralph 
Richardson. Hugh Griffith and Michael 
Gothard. Child star Mark Lester of OLIVER! 
and Chloe Franks (TALES FROM THE 
CRYPT. THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED 
BLOOD) portrayed two orphans menaced by 
the evil Winters, the inspiration for the .story 
the fairytale. 'Hansel and GretaT. 

THE KILLING KIND made in 1973 is a lit- 
tle seen psycho drama with John Savage as a 
young man returning home after .serving a 
prison sentence for a crime he did not com- 
mit and seeking vengeance on those he holds 
responsible. Primarily a character study of a 
psychotic with a mother complex, punctuated 
by the expected moments of violence, it has a 
solid performance by Savage, with support 
from Ann Soihem. Ruth Roman and Cindy 
Williams, but remains rather depressing and 
flat. 


Born in 1928 in Los Angeles. Curtis 
Harrington first look a serious interest in 
film making in his teens, producing many 
experimental shorts in 8mm and 16mm. their 
titles including THE FALL OF THE 
HOUSE OF USHER (1942). FRAGMENT 
OF SEEKING (1946). PICNIC ( 1948). 
DANGEROUS HOUSES (19.32) and THE 
WORMWOOD STAR (19.35). His break- 
through into mainstream films came when he 
landed a job as executive assistant to produc- 
er Jerry Wald (ACROSS THE PACIFIC. 
KEY LARGO. PEYTON PLACE), going on 
to become an associate 


her hypnotic eyes a memorable image. The 
cast also included John Saxon and Dennis 
Hopper but the aciors had little to do and it is 
particularly sad to see the great Basil 
Rathbone reduced to such a dreary role. 
Unfortunately. Rathbone was to go through 
almost exactly the same process when he was 
retained for VOYAGE TO THE PREHIS- 
TORIC PLANET (1965). which wa.s actually 
released first, again using Russian footage, 
Harrington writing and directing under the 
pseudonym of John Sebastian. More acurios- 
ity than a decent movie this 
was a fine example of 
Roger Corman oppor- 
tunism! 

A change of direction 
occurred with his next 
project. GAMES (1967), 
written by Gene Kearney 
and starring James Caan. 
Simone Signoret and 
Katherine Ross. This 
oddity explore.s the 
lives of a bored couple 
who involve an older 
women in bi/arre sex 
and death games 
resulting in many plot 
twists. Although cer- 
tainly unusual. 
GAMES is also often 
quite tedious, the 
characters perfunc- 
tory and uninvolving. Cast 
members for the production also featured 
were Florence Marly. Don Stroud. Kent 
Smith and Luana Anders. 


Harrington mused into television at the end 
of the sixties and was to spend the seventies 
alternating between feature films and T.V. 
movies, the first of which 
HOW AWFUL ABOUT 
ALLAN (197(1) starred 
Anthony Perkins as a blind 
young man tormented by 
strange voices and guilt over 
his father's death. Destined to 
be unfairly compared with 
PSYCHO because of the 
Perkins connection this w-as 
an adequate lime filler hut 
something of a disappoint- 
ment considering the talent 
involved, with supporting 
performances provided by 
Julie Harris. Joan Hackeli 
and Kent Smith. 

Looking for a new slant on 
the grand guignol horror 
mekxlramalics of WHATEV- 
ER HAPPENED TO BABY 
JANE. Harrington next cast 
Debbie Reynolds and Shelley 
Winters as the mothers of 
convicted murderers who 
open a dancing school for 
children in WHAT'S THE 
MATTER WITH HELEN 


p ro - 

duccr at Fox in 1955. But it 
wasn't until 1963 lhai he aciually fulfilled 
his ambition and directed a full length fea- 
ture. beginning his long career as a 
horror/thriller specialist. 


NIGHT TIDE was u low budget production 
al-so written by Harrington concerning a 
sailor (played by Dennis Hopper) on leave in 
a small California seaside resort. Whilst 
there he becomes obsessed with an oiphan 
girl who plays a mermaid at a sideshow. The 
problem is. .she believes herself to be a 
descendant of a race of sea creatures w-ho 
must kill during the full moon. Made in 
black and white. NIGHT TIDE attains an 
almost surreal atmosphere and was quite an 
auspicious debut with a promise of greater 
things to come, the film achieving a cull sta- 
tus and remaining popular today. At this 
point a certain Roger Corman who had 
acquired a Russian movie entitled PLANET 
BURA (PLANET OF STORMS), hired 
Harring(on to write a script to utilise some of 
the footage. So with a budget of S65.(X)(I. 
Harrington began his second feature as 
director. QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966). The 
.story he came up with has Dr. Farraday 
(Basil Raihbonc) sending an expedition to 
Mars to rescue a crashed spaceship, only to 
find a green-skinned survivor who turns oul 
to be a vampire. The biggest plus point for 
the film was actress Florence Marly who 
played the bloodsucker as a .silent predator. 





QUEEN OF BLOOD 

USA 1%6 

DIRECTED BY CURTIS HARRINGTON 
STARRING JOHN SAXON; BASIL RATH- 
BONE; lUDI MEREDITH; DENNIS HOP- 
PER; FLORENCE MARLEY 

As ouilined in the mam text, QUEEN OF 
BLOOD, Harrinslon's second feature was 
based arourKi some particularly impressive 
soviet science-fiction footage acquired by 
Roger Corman. (The original home of said 
footage is somewhat uncertain and could 
equally be from an unfinished project 
named NIEBO ZOWIET circa 19S9?) 
Although hampered by such obvious pitfalls 
as having to create a coherent plot around 
existing material, it is to Harrington's credit 
as both director and screenwriter that 
QUEEN OF BLOOD stands as such an 
accomplished endeavour. 

Set in 1990 where a mysterious alien craft 
chashlands on Mars, a rescue squad headed 
by John Saxon is dispatched to investigate, 
discovering a living female extraterrestrial 
who shows her true colours (greenl) by 
revealing herself to be an alien bloodsuck- 
ing queen, sent to the planet in a deliberate 
plan to gel to earth and take over our 
world! 

Sure QUEEN OF BLOOD is relatively 
unspectacular pulp SF trash, but it is han- 
dled with sufficient flair and rendered with 
such a high quota of atmosphere that it far 
belles its dubious roots. The lurid colours of 
the Russian footage furnish the film with a 
genuinely alien character, and visually the 
film falls somewhere between BARBAREL- 
LA and FORBIDDEN PLANET. Elements of 
the plot seem curiously familiar in such 
contemporary works as ALIEN and especial- 
ly the early parts of LIFEFORCE, whether 
this film was an actual influence is ques- 
tionable, but probable. 

With an incredible cast of genre stalwarts 
(the legendary Forrest | Ackerman is even in 
there as well!), QUEEN OF BLOOD is rec- 
ommerKJed viewing, being one of the nrore 
visually striking sci-fi pieces oi the era along 
with Bavi's PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, 
and is a good starting point for those inter- 
ested In researching Harrington's hit and 
miss career. 

|OHN HILL 


his workman-like T.V. movies, this time 
echoing the same years ZOLTAN, HOUND 
OF DRACULA <AKA: DRACULA S DOG) 
with DEVIL DOG; THE HOUND OF 
HELL. In this one. the family pci. a saianic 
dog. terrorises a suburban family lead by 
Richard Crenna and Yvette Mimieux. The 
result is exactly what you might expect with- 
out any real surpnscs and few thrills. 

Since this consistent period of work. 
Harrington has made very few films and on 
the odd occasion when he has returned to 
directing, such as the lamentable MATA 
HARI (I9K4) with Sylvia Kristel. it might 
have been belter if he had not bothered at all. 

What began as a promising career, in the 
end. never really amounted to very much and 
the name of Curtis Harrington is unlikely to 
be high on the list of anyone’s favourite 
director’s, but even so, his films endure, sur- 
viving for those with the inclination to track 
them down and who know’s, perhaps he will 
yet re-emerge. 

But until then. I can’t help feeling that he 
was a film-maker too fond of using tried and 
trusted ingredients, his films rarely truly 
innovative. There is no .substitute for origi- 
nality. Too many shortcut’s arc not the way 
to get ahead. 


Returning to T.V.. Harrington 
made a trio of chillers during the 
next two years, the first. THE 
CAT CREATURE (1973). an 
interestingly old fashioned mys- 
tery written by Robert Bloch, 
attempting to recapture the spirit 
of the I940’s Val Lewton pic- 
tures. The leads played by David 
ITHE FLY) Hedison, Meredith 
Baxter and Stuart Whitman were 
merely passable, but it is the 
supporting cast which provides 
most of the interest with John 
Carradine. Gale Sondergaard, 

Keye Luke. Kent Smith and John 
Abbott all featured prominently. 

This was immediately followed 
by THE KILLER BEES ( 1974) a 
predictable affair in which the 
legendary Gloria Swanson, mak- 
ing a rare latter day appearance, 
played the matriarch of a family 
which raises hives of an unusual 
African bee. The twist is that she 
has a strange telepathic link with the crea- 
tures and uses them for her own evil designs. 
This is probably the vseakesi of Harrington’s 
made for T.V. movies and the rest of the cast 
were hardly inspiring ( Kale Jackson. Edward 
Albert. Roger Davis). 


Superior, but still not really arising above the 
level of competency, is THE DEAD DQN’T 
DIE ( 1974). a tribute to the poverty-row hor- 
rors of the I93()'s, Corpses just won’t slay 
dead and zombies are everywhere in this 
Robert Bloch scripted thriller and Harrington 
docs at limes capture the mood of the old 
black and while horror movies, the uuiheniic 
period l(K>k a major asset, but he is let down 
by a stolid performance by George Hamilton 
in the lead and an erratic plot. The rest of the 
cast (Ray Milland, Joan Blondell. Ralph 
Meeker. Linda Crislal, Reggie Nalder) fair 
better hut the end result is .still disappointing. 


Bidding to gain a commercial hit on the big 
screen he next directed RUBY (1977), an 
offbeat talc of the owner of a drive-in theatre 
who was once a gangster’s moll. But her now 
dead lover's spirit returns years later and pos- 
sesses her daughter. This is basically a genre 
hybrid, a kind of bizarre marrying of THE 
EXORCIST and BONNIE AND CLYDE. 
Piper Laurie stars as the mother, (she had 
played Sissy Spacck's mum in CARRIE the 
year before), with Janet Baldwin as her 
daughter, Stuart 
Whitman and 
Roger Davis. 

Although 
Harrington was 
actually fired from 
this production, it 
fini.shed by 
Stephanie 
Rothman , in many 
ways this film is 
typical of his work, 
inventive on the 
.surface but funda- 
mentally derivative 
and ultimately 
lacklustre. 


9 



MD[E®\MMI1ME 


CANT FIND THAT VIDEO? 
WE CAN! 


THOUSANDS OF FILMS IN STOCK 
IF WE DON’T HAVE IT WE CAN GET IT 


RARE, IMPORTS ETC. 

FREE MEMBERSHIP 

SEND WANTS LIST TO 

mm® TOffifffflBS 

PO BOX 27 
BREDBURY 
STOCKPORT 
SK6 2HZ 

TEL: 061 406 8324 

ALSO 

HORROR TRAILERS 

OVER 2 HOURS OF HORROR FILM TRAILERS ON VIDEO CLASSICS 
LIKE: THE THING, DAWN OF THE DEAD, ETC 

PRICE £10.99 PLUS £1.50 P«^P 
MAKE CHEQUES PAYABLE TO VIDEO VULTURE 
IF YOU REQUIRE LISTS ENCLOSE LARGE SAE 


ADVERT DESIGNED BY IMAGERY STUDIOS PHONE 0205 36S460 






Ken Miller (editor of 
Imaginator) and Rick Baker 
(from Eastern Heroes maga- 
zine) have been organising 
mini film festival's at 
London’s notorious flea-pit, 
the Scala, for a while now, 
mostly screening oriental 
movies, with the occasional 
western effort thrown in for 
good measure, so when good 
old Ken was kind enough to 
send along some complimen- 
tary tickets, I decided it was 
lime to head down to the Big 
Smoke to see just what was 
going on, and the following are my hum- 
ble thoughts on it all. 

There 5 no denying Ihe fat!, like il or nol, that 
orienial movies are ihe films in vogue a! ihe 
momeni amongst hardcore horror addicts, 
whether this is a passing fad or nut, will only 
be seen with Ihe passage of lime, but I for one 
feel lhal Ihe fashion element of il all is a rather 
prominent feature to thi>se films' current popu- 
larity, in other words, if you ain't in. you just 
ain't hip man! Rather like the cull popularity 
of the Italian horror scene in Ihe late 70s/early 
8Us. the Hong Kong horror movement fields 
similar scare tactics, with minimal plots; star- 
tling visuals; unusual ideas and extreme vio- 
lence, in other words chaos over quality. 
There are obvious exceptions to this funda- 
mental outline, both in the Hong Kong and 
Italian scenes, but their initial likeness Is over- 
whelming, One thing in Ihe oriental scenes' 
favour IS Ihe diversity of styles, ranging from 
heroic bloodshed (films such as THE KILLER 
dealing with gangsters: triads; police and rela- 
tionships, hut doused m a canvas ol ultra-vio- 
lent gun-play); to Chinese horror (for example 
(he MR VAMPIRE series, which portray tradi- 
tional oriental scare philosophies - most of 
which come across very different to our west- 
ernised conceptsi; to more traditional fare 
(ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA) to other off- 
shoots such as straightforward martial arts 
mayhem (starring Ihe likes of lackie Chan; 
Andy Lau etc) through futuristic science fiction 
nightmares (TETSUO) and then we're off into 
other culture’s film-making tactics such as 
lapan's super-violent animes (cartoons) and 
(he like, Whether this cross-section of filnt pro- 
duction should be covered under one banner 
is highly arguable, but the current interest gen- 
erated by such material is undeniable, and 
certainly 90% of the material you are likely to 
see will feature either extreme violence or 
spectacular action, so in any given film there 
will be something of interest, to Ihe unde- 
manding gorehound/action junkie. I myself 
find that your average Hong Kong horror/ori- 
ental extremity-call il what you will, can usu- 
ally be summed up by this ratio - 75% dia- 
logue/general oriental antics that go above 
most westerners' heads, and 25% aclion/vio- 
Icnce - therefore if you take this as the com- 
mon thread, you can deduct how good/awful 
any given film is. Even with the best oriental 
output (THE KILLER for example) you will usu- 
ally find some olYputting quantity, in the case 
of Ihe heroic bloodshed films il is the mawkish 
senlimenlalily which comes across as alien to 
hardened vsestern audiences. However, saying 
this, most oriental features carry something of 
interest amongst their running lime, il s just 
that you have to vsade through a lot of sub- 
standard filling In gel to the juicy stuff - still, I 
remain one ni the unconverted, and remain in 
something ol a minoriK standpoint, so let's see 



A report from the 
film extremes 
festival (Scala 
Cinema, King’s 
Cross, London, 
Sunday, August 
9th 1992) by 
f OH N HILL 


n offer to tempt me into conver- 


A BETTER TOMORROW (HK 1987) was the 
film lhal I suppose launched Ihe whole heroic 
bloodshed fad, and is widely regarded as one 
of Ihe orient's greatest commodities. 
Converging the combined talents of HK super- 
stars Tsui Hark and )ohn Woo with box-office 
hero in the making Chow-Yun-Fat, this story of 
loyally, betrayal and brotherly love is 
undoubtedly engaging - aithough suffers some- 
what, if like me you were introduced to the 
sub-genre via THE KILLER, a similar though 
superior film. The story weaves itself around 
two brothers, each on different sides of the 
law, and how their lifestyles ultimately come 
to a tangent. Chow Yun Fat who looks cool as 
hell is the outsider who brings them together, 
and indeed gets to wreak most of the film's 
incredible havoc. Obviously il is director 
Woos' ability to stage outstanding feats of 
destruction and Sam Peckinpah style gun-play 
which brought this film notoriety. Like most 
films of this ilk however, A BETTER TOMOR- 
ROW gets loo bogged down with its oriental 
themes of honour and sentimentality, and the 


ending song brought howls of hysteria from a 
( fowd ol converted such as these. Despite this 
though, this IS certainly one of Ihe better HK 
actioners. alllmugh still gaining a 65/35 ratio. 
Two sectuels lollowed. iMJlh unreleased in Ihe 
UK. 

In between iilms il was lime to wonder the 
darkest recesses ot the infamous Scala a venue 
renowned worldwide for its depraved on- 
screen subject mailer. Talking of which, away 
from the perfectly legitimate merchandise 
being dealt by Ihe organisers in the foyer, over 
in the darkest corners of Ihe cinema certain 
individuals who shall remain nameless were 
jteddllng an alarming number, of shall we say 
tactfully, less readily available items. Far be it 
from me to suggest that Mr Plod hasn i exactly 
exterminated the underground blackmarkel in 
pirate films during his recent raids, but nne 
wonders otherwise when some unknown 
lurches up to you displaying SS 
EXPERIMEN'T CAMP for a tenner. 
The nerve of these opportunists 
amazed me, especially in Ihe cur- 
rent climale, so a word of warning 
to one and all. for when I was 
offered a copy of a certain SF 
blockbuster for ten notes, and 
proudly declared Away with you - 
its ALIEN 3 on Ihe big screen for 
me sir! nol only was I being highly 
sensible, hut doubly so, once an 
inside contact revealed not only 
were such prints bordering on 
unwatchable. but they didn t even fit 
onto Ihe tape - the endings were 
missing! Apparently, if you were one 
of Ihe rip-off artists involved, said 
contact informs me you might Ik? get- 
ting a knock on your door very shortly! 
Enough of these mcanderings - on with the 

SAVIOUR OF THE SOUL (HK 1991) is unusu- 
al. nay it's worse than that, its downright 
weird! Orienial mysticism and martial arts 
combine in a modern day version of ZU WAR- 
RIORS mutated with a bastard offspring of 
HIGHLANDER! The plot I must admit eluded 
me, but certainly includes plenty of action of 
the flying variety, Andy Lau once again gels to 
battle all and sundry. Some of the action is 
overtly graphic • particularly in the opening 
sequence where Ihe main baddie Silver Fox 
infiltrates a building full of machine-gun tol- 
ling security guards, and proceeds to dispatch 
Ihe lot - one even gets cleaved straight down 
Ihe middle! Frantic, funny in places, noisy (the 
Scala sound system rarely sounded better) and 
confusing in the extreme, SAVIOUR OF THE 
SOUL directed by Yuen Kwey achieves a rea- 
sonably average 70/30 ratio. 

After another wonder around the crowded 
foyer inhabited by the likes of Kim Newman; 
Steve C of In the Flesh and his identical twin 
Alan lones (well they're both bald!) il was lime 
to slock up with beer and back into the dark- 
ness for at least Iwo thirds of Tsui Hark s 
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA (HK 1991) 
before British Rail timetables dictated my 
departure. This one was to me at least the least 
interesting of the lot as it had no fantasy ele- 
ments or violent gunplay, just very clever and 
quick martial anisiry. Set during the time of 
European encroachment into China, the film 
stars let Lee who gets to run around a lot. 
Undeniably well shot and cleverly choreo- 
graphed I'm afraid this sort of thing holds very 
limited appeal for me - give me MONKEY any- 
day! 

And that was it, off I went into Ihe early 
evening gloom, still no more a fan of the hit 
and miss Hong Kong scene than before, still I 
had enjoyed the experience and must thank 
Ken for the opportunity to go along, and if he 
feels like inviting me again next time 1 won't 
object too strongly! 


11 


SUllVIML/o 





THE PLIGHT OF THE ANDES CANNIBALS by Michael Slatter 


The story of the Andes survivors is much more than just 
one of modern-day cannibalism, it is also quite firmly about 
companionship, stamina, community and, above all. 
courage. 

It began on 12th October 1972, when an amateur rugby 
team set off from their home in Uruguay to a friendly game 
in Chile, in a specially chartered Air Force Fairchild F227. 
Of the 45 travellers, most in their early twenties, 15 were 
the team. 25 their friends and relations, and five crew. At 
about 3.30pm on the 13th (a Friday), as they flew over the 
Andes, the right wing of the plane hit one of the mountains, 
cutting off the back end of the fuselage as it spiralled away, 
taking with it the navigator, steward and three of the 
players, still strapped to their seats. As the left wing broke 
off. its propeller ripping into the planes side, what was left 
of the fuselage slid on its belly down the mountainside, and 
as it came to a crunching halt near a ledge, all the seats 
came free from their mountings, crushing those sitting in 
front. Now in sub zero temperatures, it was found that three 
of the remaining passengers had died immediately and the 
rest were tended, as best they could, by two medical 
students. One of the boys had a piece of steel bar protruding 
from his stomach and when one of the students wrenched it 
free, he bought six inches of intestine with it. Many 
pas.sengers had broken limbs and all were in deep shock. In 
the cockpit, the pilot was dead and the co-pilot was raving 
and stuck fast - the radio was damaged beyond repair. 
Those fit enough extracted wreckage from inside the plane 
and. as freezing snow began to fall. 32 survivors prepared 
for a sleepless night. 

In the morning, they found themselves almost slap bang 
in the middle of the Andes, about 11.500 feet up and 
surrounded on all sides by huge mountains. Four more 
people had died during the night, including the co-pilot, and 
one more that morning. Meanwhile, search parties from 
both sides of the border, sent out immediately, were being 
hampered by bad weather and would never be successful 
anyway because the pilot, in his last me.s.sage, had seriously 
miscalculated their position. After two weeks, all official 
search parties were called off, leaving only stubborn 
relatives to carry on their own fruitless expeditions. 

On the ninth day in the aeroplane, their meagre food 
rations finally ran out, and with the death of one of the 


boy's sister, the decision to eat their dead companions was 
taken. One of the students, with a piece of broken glass, cut 
20 slivers of meat from a corpse, perfectly preserved in the 
snow, and left them on top of the plane to dry in the sun. 
Now the deed was done, nobody wanted to be the first to 
eat it. but their dreadful hunger gradually forced them out 
one by one. They didn't chew the meal and many were sick 
the first time. When the weather was fair, they were able to 
get a fire together and found the meat more palatable when 
cooked - ‘‘.softer than beef but with exactly the same taste" - 
though it was pointed out that meat, when cooked, not only 
shrinks but loses much of its valuable proteins, also that 
material for fires was running low. so they reverted to 
eating it raw. 

On the seventeenth day. October 29. Just as the 27 
survivors had settled down to a semblance of sleep, a huge 
avalanche pushed freezing .snow into the hole at the end of 
the fuselage, easily tearing down the flimsy wall of 
cushions and blankets. After digging themselves out. it was 
found that seven boys, and the last female, were dead. A 
second avalanche completely covered the plane over, so 
they were now cut off from the outside. A blizzard blew for 
three days above them and after two. having eaten nothing, 
some of the boys began cutting up those who had died in 
the avalanche for food. Eventually, they managed to dig 
themselves out, and the only thought on their minds for the 
next few weeks was e.scape. They tried a few ‘expeditions' 
in the surrounding area, one even finding the tailend of the 
plane, but the death of a further three boys from the 
gangrenous condition of their legs, hastened their efforts. 

As summer kicked into the Andes around mid- 
November, another problem presented itself - the hot sun 
began melting the snow, thawing out the corpses, causing 
them to rot. Bodies became hard to find and soon meat was 
rationed. At one time “they tried to eat the tongue off one 
corpse but could not swallow it. and one of them ate the 
testicles”. Brains, too, were eaten for the first time. 
Consequently, in the first week of December, three of the 
hardiest boys set out for freedom, though one later turned 
back through exhaustion. As well as extra meat rations, 
they used ‘shoes' made from the elbows of the dead. It 
look them ten days of travelling before they caught sight of 
their first snow free ground, a valley where, exhausted and 
more dead than alive, they were seen by Chilean peasants 


12 


and laken to the authorities, seventy days alter the plane 
had crashed. When the remaining survivors were rescued, it 
soon emerged about theif abnormal eating habits, but most 
people, including the victim's relatives, were sympathetic to 
them as their story became a scandal all over the world. 
Naturally, the media gave blanket coverage to the story, 
though the boys wouldn’t give private interviews, and. 
indeed, the first books appeared less than a year later. 

It is impossible here to illustrate the fortitude and 
courage of the 16 survivors, both during and after their 
ordeal, but any of the books mentioned here are 
recommended for the more emotional a.spects of the story. 

THEY LIVED ON HUMAN FLESH by Enrique Hank 
Lopez (published 10/73) belies its lurid title and tasteless 
cover of a half eaten human arm by being a very interesting 
well written account of the events. True, many of the 
incidents related here seem to occur at different times to 
those in the other books - he also erroneously suggests the 
survivors hung meat up to dry inside the plane - but where 
this book's strengths lie is in the concentration on the 
aftermath of the story. Over half of the book is concerned 
with the moral stance of cannibalism and the way in which 
the survivors were treated by the media. In this way it 
manages to not only be a good read, but also a different 
one. The standard photos purport to show dismembered 
limbs outside the aeroplane, but they are so fuzzy, much 
imagination is needed to work them out. 

SURVIVE! by Clay Blair jr. also published in 1973. 
could never be faulted for a lack of facts - every single little 
thing is noted here. Again, it is different to the other books, 
as much more background is illustrated, particularly of the 
passengers and crew, but also of the rugby team, the Andes 
and the subject of cannibalism, making comparisons to the 
case of the Donner Party in 1846. American travellers in the 
Old West, cut off by snow (recently immortalised in the TV 
movie DONNER PASS THE ROAD TO SURVIVAL). 
Blair's book is not as well written as the others, it is very 
stand-offish and impersonal, but is still a fine companion 
volume. He does add an extra story at the end of the book 
about the father of one of the dead boys who relumed to the 
site of the crash to recover his son’s body (not one of those 
eaten). When he brought it down from the mountain he was 
arrested for graverobbing (all the bodies and remains had 
been mass buried by the rescuers) and it took several weeks 
before he could persuade the authorities to let him bury the 
body in Uruguay. The photos here arc similar to those in the 
previous book, but much clearer - severed limbs being all 
too obvious. 

ALIVE by Piers Paul Read (1974). Although Read has 
obviously tried to go for a more subtle approach, i.e. no 
gruesome photographs, his gross descriptions of the meat 
eating rituals betray otherwise. This is, however, the best 
and most personal of the books because the author was 
given the opportunity to speak to every survivor personally 
and received their full pemiission to print all. His maps are 


certainly the most useful (curiously, all the books have 
different maps) and naturally, more of the pain and 
suffering of the survivors seeps into the writing. Also, what 
occasionally slips out is the odd passage suggesting that the 
human meat-eating became a very blase experience: (after 
the avalanche) "when the survivors came in at night, they 
would leave a limb or a portion of a torso on the ‘porch’ in 
case the weather the next day made it impossible for them 
to go out", “...they laughed when Coche Inciane stretched 
up to fetch something from the hat rack and brushed his 
face against a lifeless hand which had been brought in to 
stave off hunger in the night". They ate up to a pound of 
meat a day (Blair suggests one body every three days). 

The film of the story was made in 1975 by Mexican 
exploitation veteran Rene Cardona. Ba.sed on. and with the 
same title as. Blair's book, it’s a relatively faithful 
adaptation, though a few events occur out of sequence and a 
lot of the ‘meat’ (sorry) of the story is lost in the translation 
of book to film. Characterisation Is nil, one person looks 
much the same as another, and the acting is of the very 
wooden variety, obviously not helped by bad dubbing. The 
actual act of cannibalism is pretty gruesome but not 
especially lingered on, so it's not terribly exploitive. It all 
ends very suddenly and leaves one feeling that there .should 
have been more. 

It is rumoured that Spielberg cohort Frank Marshall 
(ARACHNOPHOBIA ) is planning to make a new version 
of the story for Disney - the mind boggles! 



iA ^ 


13 




DEMEnrriA 13 

USA 1963 

DIRECTED BY FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA 
STARRING WILLIAM CAMPBELL: LUANA 
ANDERS; BART PATTON; MARY MITCHELL: 
PATRICK MACEE- 

This was the second film by Francis Ford 
Coppola as writer and director Ihis debut 
TONIGHT FOR SURE made in 1961 doesn't 
always appear in his credits) and although the 
plot involves such familiar eiements as murder, 
insanity and guilt, enough style and originality 
has been injected into the proceedings to make 
DEMENTIA 13 an interesting movie. 

Made in 1963 lor Roger Corman and shot in 
Ireland, Coppola manages to create a moody 
atmosphere, as an axe murderer stalks 
memlters of a noble Irish family, the ancestral 
castle becoming a killing ground. Shot in black 
and white and undoubtahly benefiting from it, 
there is some nice photography from Charles 
Hannawall which compliments Coppola's 
brooding direction, a compelling score by 
Ronald Stein reinforcing this effecl. There are 
also several notable set pieces, most strikingly 
the Inng, slow build up to Luana Anders death 
by the lake. 

As far as performances go. Patrick Magee 
dominates the film with his eccentric, possibly 
malevolent portrayal of the family doctor, the 
other cast members including William 
Campbell (from Gorman's BLOOD BATH) 
adequate, but uninspired. 

It will prove interesting to see how this raw, 
low budget effort compares with Coppola's 
forth-coming, multi-million dollar production 
of DRACULA, but on the strength of this early 
work, he might well produce something of 
<|uahly. 


by the dreadful Headless Chickens. A woman 
finds a hair in her sink and as she pulls, it gels 
bigger and bigger until her sink begins to bulge. 
Eventually, she pulls out a seemingly dead 
foetus all covered in black hair, which she puts 
in the bath. As she goes to answer the phone, 
the bath overflows and the foetus turns into a 
full grown man. She shaves off all his hair and 
puts him in her bed, but he never moves, so 
she puls him in a bin hag, He comes to life and 
she tries to kill him with a razor. He 
overpowers her and embraces and kisses her. 
She notices a large hair growing from Ihe track 
of his neck and as she begins to pull it, he starts 
screaming... 

Well, what Ihe bloody hell was that all about? 
I'm not really up on symbolism hut it obviously 
has something to do with woman's struggle 
against man; lied to the kitchen sink via 
umbilical cord/bair/chitd; Ihe man, whom she 
pampers, pays no attention to her unless il is in 
a violent way; the final scene illustrating her 
relrelhnn against him. Hmm! The film itself is 
professionally shot and has some gross effects 
as Ihe woman struggles to pull Ihe hairy 
embryo from the sink - I know, I know, it's 
symbolic of birth, and at the risk of offending 
millions of women, birth is pretty gross. 
Australian fanzine editor Ant Timpson has a 
credit for spec iai effects. 

MICHAEL SLATTER 


METAMORPHOSIS: 
THE ALIEN FACTOR 

aka DEADLY SPAWN II 
USA 1990. 


MARK HOCKLEY 

KITCHEN SINK 

NEWZEALAND 1 989 
DIRECTED BY ALISON MACLEAN 
STARRING THERESA HEALEY, PETER TAIT 

A weird Antipodean short (20m) with effective 
monochrome photography and strange music 


DIRECTED BY GLENN TAKAKIIAN 
STARRING TARA LEIGH AND TONY 
CICANTE 

A scientist who is experimenting with mutants 
spawned from a piece of alien organism Is 
infected by the substance and a metamorphosis 
begins... 

As with Ihe much cheaper ($40,000) DEADLY 
SPAWN, this movie is pretty much an excuse 
for some monster FX work, with the same lack 
of acting ability on the part of the leads and so- 



Whether It be the genuinely 
obscure, lilms from the distant 
past or titles that have slipped by 
unnoticed - THE LOST WORLD' 
intends covering them all. So for 
our first issue, here comes a 
typically varied mixture of 
material. 

SO direction. However, just like Ihe original 
SPAWN movie, METAMORPHOSIS is a fun 
picture because the creature work is so 
walchable and the red stuff flows abundantly. 

As the story unfolds, at first via flashbacks, we 
are presented with a number of novel 
creatures. A hi(>edal, goggle-eyed critter Is the 
first creation to grab your attention- Ihis is Ihe 
creature which infects Ihe scientist when it 
biles him. Once Ihe scientist starts to transform, 
Ihe unfortunate man turns into a red raw, 
bloaled-necked monstrosity that ui, leashes 
I'laihng leniailes (a la Carpenter's THE THING) 
and even ejects meatballs with teeth! Yes, you 
heard me right: the man/lhing acquires the 
ability to expel small balls of flesh lhal are 
mainly a set of leelh wilh a (mison stinger in 
the centre (il is explained lhal, like a bee. once 
the venom is injected, Ihe moulh' expires.) 
Finally Ihe scientist totally transforms into a 
gigantic alien heaslie which runs amok down 
Ihe corridors or the Talos company's building, 
lacking eyes but being in (Xissession of lots of 
teeth, as was the original alien in DEADLY 
SPAWN, this monster somewhat resembles a 
loolhy penis wilh it's foreskin pulled back. Still 
able lo eject Ihe leelh-balls, it also can emil 
grasping tentacles, and has some sturdy 
forelegs. A fine mixlure of full scale 
animalronic FX work and model animation. 
Ihis creature is a decent addition to the alien 
critter genre. Bui even this beast is 
overshadowed by the brief appearance of an 
animated mutant (a more evolved version of 
the bipdal creature seen at the start) during the 
finale. A blobby thing with a multitude of 
branching limbs, this t realion is a fine example 
of the sort of imaginatively designed animation 
model so rarely used (most animation models 
lend lo be dinosaur related.) 

Script-wise. Ihe film isn't up lo much; il simply 
rehashes ideas and images taken from such 
films as THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT and 
THE THING. The film also doesn't explain why 
(alter victims of the alien's bile don't transform 
into mutants as the scientist did. Also, why 
weren't Ihe characters who were attacked by 
the teeth-balls killed by Ihe venom the balls 
sup[K)sedly injected into them? As I've already 
slated, Ihe script wasn't this particular movie's 
strong point- but who cares when the film 
boasts LOTS of monster fcwlage and sequences 
of blood-letting and slime-slopping? 

Illustrating the fact that movie animator Ray 
Harryhausen is still influencing up-and-coming 
film folk is an end credits note which actually 
says lhal the animation crew on this film owe a 
debt of gratitude to Ray. Also, of course, there's 
Ihe name of the secret organisation in Ihe film: 
Talos- which was the name of the bronze giant 
in Harrybausen's lASON AND THE 
ARGONAUTS. I don't think that Ray would 
like all of Ihe gore on show in this picture, bul 
I'm sure he'd apiireciale the nicely weird 
animation miKlel used at Ihe end. 

1) you're a movie monster (an- this is essential 
viewing. 

KEN MILLER 


14 




MONSTER AND 
THE STRIPPER 

USA 1973? 

DIRECTED BY RON ORMOND 
STARRING VIC NARO; GEORGETTE DANTE: 
EDWARD B MOATES: DONNA RAYE; SLEEPY 
LA BEEF. 

Groovy man! Afficioanados o( Iruly bizarre 
cinema are direcled towards this (ionuinelv 
obsiurp entry, whiih is conspiiuuus by its 
absence from most reference sources. An 
oulraKeoiis sleaze epic filmed m a New 
Orleans sirip jciinl tun by the mob. this Raudy 
caper centres on the searc h lor a 'clitTerent' act 
to enliven the show at the dwindling dub, and 
guess what the owners have in mind - the 
legendary swamp-thing from the nearby 
wetlands! 

Basically MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER is a 
film of three segnienls, the opening strip club 
third; the hunt for the monster middle segment, 
and the ultimate gloriously sleazy amalgam of 
both stories. You may think it would be 
impossible for any film to live up to such a 
lurid title, but undeniably this 'swinging' film 
pulls It off - and how! 

See a double-jointed exotic dancer named 
Titania! Witness a bent punier forced to 
swallow a cocktail of fag-butts and phlegm! 
Marvel at the spectacle of a senior citizen 
stripper in her long-|ohns! Revel in the titanic 
cat-fight of the two female leads! Attempt to 
keep a straight face as the swamp beast who 
looks for all the world like Terry Scott in 
CARRY ON UP THE (UNCLE wrenches off a 
hunter's arm and beats him to death with it! 
Experience a live geek show as a chicken has 
Its head bitten off, and innards devoured! Thrill 
to such classic lines of dialogue as "My God 
his guts are lorn out!" or "A young lady who 
will twitch it and twolch it, and stand there and 
let you watch ill" Shriek in terror as the 
monster crushes Ihe corrupt club 
entrepreneur’s (a man who is a deadringer for 
loe Spinel!!) head "like a ripe water-melon!" 

In short go out of your way to see this gaudy 
masterpiece which comes on like Opiwrtunity 
Knocks on particularly bad weed. Or maytae I 
dreamt Ihe whole thing? Apologies for resorting 
to an Anglo-Saxon expletive, but this film is un- 
fucking-believable! "Real dandy!" 

STEVE 'BAD TRIP' CHAMBERS. 


MONSTROID 

USA 1979. 

DIRECTED BY HERBERT L STROCK. 
STARRING lOHN CARRADINE; JIM 
MITCHUM: ANTHONY EISLEY,- PHIL CAREY; 
CONNIE MOORE. 


So they've named a film after us already huh? 
Actually MONSTROID is a rubber monster 
movie with some ralher dubious credentials 
Credited as a 1 979 offering under the direction 
of Strock ITHE CRAWLING HAND; HOW TO 
MAKE A MONSTER), the film was first 
mentioned under its original monicker of 
MONSTER in 1975 under Ihe direction of 
Andre Faro, with different cast and characters. 
Added to the mysterious origins of the movie, 
Michael Weldon's excellent guide 'The 
Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film’ credits it 
as being an Italian production? Whatever, this 
effort should find a place into the heart of all 
devotees of marauding monster movies. 

"The story you are about to see is based on 
fact. The incident occurred in |une 1971 in 
Columbia." Yeah right, nevertheless whal we 
have here is a typically wooden sevenlies' yarn 
lihe fashions tend to imply mid seventies ralher 
than later) that manages to incorporate a 
pollution plot into its rubber creature on the 
rampage scenario. Mysterious happenings in a 
Columbian village bring the arrival of 
troubleshooter Bill Travis who is working for 
the American conglomerate whose local 
cement works secmi to he at the root of the 
problem. The village is inhabited by endless 
stereotypes anil slock characters mrliiding a 
frail kxiking lohn Carradine as a priest, and an 
American TV reporter who seems to l)e filming 
everything that happens for some unspecified 
reason. However, after villagers meet untimely 
ends and others go unaccounted for, it 
transpires lhal Ihe rewt of such foul deeds, is 
actually a giant prehistoric creature which lives 
in the local lake! This thing Is tacky beyond 
words, and Icxtks like an enormous snake with 
a reptilian moustache. Fvenlually in a rousing 
finale the beast is lured to the surface with a 
dead shcjep (?) and attacked with home-made 
depth-charges much 1o the delight of the local 
populace who look on, mugging shamelessly. 



MONSTROID is wretchedly inadequate, but 
rarely has a dull moment, for example if you 
find yourself twiddling your thumbs at the 
dinosaur antics, there’s also a hout of exorcism 
and witch-burning to enliven the prcx:eedings. 
The cast of scenery-chewers, do what they 
know best, and at one p>oint trash veteran Eisley 
(see NAVY V THE NIGHT MONSTERS review 
elsewhere) utters the line "I feel like a movie- 
star!" Unreal! Oh and there’s also a gloriously 
uninspired eggbound 'surprise' ending. 
Originally released on the Inlervision label, you 
might be able to unearth this turkey at a car- 
bcx)t sale or something, should you so desire. 

JOHN HILL 


MURDERS IN THE ZOO 

USA 1933 

DIRF< TED BY EDWARD SUTHERLAND 
STAKKISC MOSEL ATWILL, CHARLES 
RUGGLES GAIL PATRICK. RANDOLPH 
SCOTT. lOHS lOEX.E- KATHLEEN BURKE, 
IIAKRN BFRfSEORD EDWARD MeWADE 

Definitely one cii Ihe IkM hcxnx movies of the 
30's and like the same studios ISLAND f)F 
LOST SOULS, features quite- graphic and 
gruesome situations lhal have caused various 
censorship problems over the- vears The story 
IS a simple one of an obsessively jealous hunter 
who uses his knowledge of animals to dispose 
of his wife's lovers, both real and imaKusarv. 
eventually even pushing his wiic oii a bridge 
into a lake of crocodiles. Naturally, hi- gets he. 
comeuppance in Ihe finale where he is crushed 
to death by a huge snake, in uncomloriablv 
realistic footage. 

Fast paced, laeautifully photographed and well 
cast; Lionel Alwill is excellent as the hunter 
Eric Gorman, with his creepy staring eyes and 
relishing every rascally line. The onK 
drawback is Charlie Ruggles. lop billed as the 
zoo's public relations man Peter Yates, whose 
humour is misplaced, but not so intrusive as lo 
detract from the rest of the film. The most 
lasting image, however, is lhal of Ihe first 
victim, who in the opening jungle scene has his 
mouth sewn up by Alwill. Later, when his wife 
asks if her would-be lover had left her a 
message, Alwill replies "He didn't 
say ...anything". Nice one. 

MICHAEL SLATTER 

NIGHT CREATURE 

aka OUT OF THE DARK/DEVIL CAT. 

USA 1977 

DIRECTED BY: LEE MADDEN 
STARRING: DONALD PLEA5ANCH, NANCY 
KWAN, ROSS HAGEN, LESLEY FINE, PRAKIT 
YAUNGSRI, lENNIFER RHODES, RACHEN 
KANCHANAMAT. 

Not strictly a horror film, as both video boxes 
(Inlervision and MPV) and titles go out of their 
way lo suggest, but a jungle suspense thriller 
about a hunter who brings a killer black 
panther to his island for a bit of sport. 
Unfortunately, his family turn up unexpectedly 
and he goes crazy when Ihe beast kills one of 
his daughters. Nicely shot in Thailand, this is 
quite awful stuff, it drags and drags. PIcasance 
is hopelessly miscast as the macho hunter and 
Ross Hagen las Ross!) is also Ihe film's 
producer - always a bad sign. Whenever Ihe 
panther slinks into view, the film inexplicably 
changes lo slow motion, though there are a 
couple of good aRack scenes. 

MICHAEL SLAnER 

OCTAMAN 

USA 1971. 

DIRECTED BY HARRY ESSEX. 

STARRING KERWIN MATHEWS; PIER 
ANGELI; IEEE MORROW: DAVID ESSEX; 
lEROME GUARDINO. 

Fans of Iruly ridiculous monster movies should 
already be familiar with this trash gem from the 


15 



early 70’s. A bizarre variant on THE 
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, all 
the more unusual for the fad it was written and 
directed by Essex, the screen-writer of 
LAGOON. OCTAMAN as the title implies has 
a deformed half-man, half-octopus 
abomination as its focal point, the result of 
slack biological practices down Mexico way! 
While the 'action' encapsulated in OCTAMAN 
may never rise above a crawl, this film is 
essential viewing for true deviants, and general 
students of mind-boggling tack, for a plethora 
of reasons. There's some deliriously out of 
place slock footage of African wildlife, despite 
the film being set in South America; there are 
particularly wooden ecological musings around 
a camp-fire; a dose of incredibly uneventful 
cave mulling; an inspired cast of trash 
stalwarts, most tempted out of retirement, 
including leff Morrow veteran of 50’s epics 
THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US and THE 
GIANT CLAW (another film with a wretchedly 
inept monster) and most interesting Pier Angeli 
notorious ex-flame of lames Dean, who 
actually died of a drug overdose during the 
film’s production! However the real reason to 
view OCTAMAN is naturally the staggering title 
beast. It is bordering on inconceivable that this 
most rubber of rubber monsters was created by 
the same Rick Baker who would later pick up 
an oscar for his state-of-the-art work on 
AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, This 
unbelievable creation flops Its tentacles around 
with wild abandon: screeches like a boiling 
kettle and unless my eyes were playing tricks 
on me. has a visible knicker line! Sluggish; 
embarrassing; bizarre; wild! If you’re the sort of 
person who derives pleasure from such 
irredeemable garbage, then this should be on 
your priority list. 

JOHN HILL 


ROCK A/’ ROLL 
WRESTLtNG \A/OMEl\l 
Vs THE AZTEC APE 

aka; LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL 
MEDICO RESINO/DOCTOR OF DOOM 

MEXICO 1 962 

DIRECTED BY RENE CARDONA SNR. 
STARRING LORENA VASQUEZ; ELIZABETH 
CAMPBELL; ARMANDO SILVESTRE. 

This was originally released in it's English form 


as DOCTOR OF DOOM, the Santa Monica 
based company. Rhino Video got hold of a 
copy, gave it another title change and over 
dubbed part of the soundtrack with a rousing 
rock n' roll score! They describe it as a 
"designer drama", well I don't know too much 
about that but for one thing, it's superb fun! 
'This was the first filfn in a whole series of 
Mexican wrestling movies which were made in 
abundance during the Sixties and early 
Seventies. They launched a star - Santo who 
along with his buddy, Blue Demon, fought 
every monster imaginable. However I digress, 
Santo isn't even in this film. What the film does 
contain is a mad scientist who conducts 
experiments with human and animal brains. He 
transplants the brain of an ape into a human 
body and creates a super-strong apeman called 
Gomar (this name was also used in Cardona's 
infamous gore-fest, NIGHT OF THE BLOODY 
APES (1969). Gomar is instructed, under 
hypnosis, to capture an intelligent female 
scientist so that the "Mad Doctor" can use her 
brain for his next creation. The lady scientist is 
captured by Comar and her brain is used in the 
Mad Doctor's latest experiment, a super- 
human, female wrestler named Vendetta. 

The Mad Doctor, under a guise (a Santo mask!) 
makes a challenge to the dead girl's sister 
(another female wrestler, named Gloria Venus) 
and her companion The Golden Rubi. He 
challenges them to a bout with Vendetta. 
While the fight takes place, one of the two 
bumbling cops (boyfriends of the two lady 
wrestlers), recognises one of the Mad Doctor's 
henchmen in the audience. Rubi gives chase 
and squeezes Vendetta's secret out of the bad 
guy. The cops are alerted of the Mad Doctor's 
plans and give chase, finally cornering the 
Madman and Comar at an electricity station 
before defeating them. 

This is one entertaining film! From start to 
finish it’s marvellous, with dead pan acting, 
chronic dubbing and cheesey make-up. Action 
scenes take centre stage, and are 
choreographed with the minimum of quality. 
The idea of using a rock n' roll soundtrack is 
excellent, but the choice of songs could have 
been !>etter. I still think that the Shoop-Shoop 
song would have been better replaced with 
"The Crusher" by The Cramps. Now that’s a 
REAL wrestling song Crrraaaggh’!! 

NICE BARTLETT 

STRANGE BEHAVIOUR 

aka: DEAD KIDS 
USA 1981 

DIRECTED BY MICHAEL LAUCHLIN 

STARRING DAN SHOR, MICHAEL MURPHY, 
LOUISE FLETCHER, ARTHUR DIGNAM, 
FIONA LEWIS, DEY YOUNG, SCOH BRADY, 
CHARLES LANE. 

Odd things are happening in a small college 
town where a government research centre is 
experimenting with drugs to determine the 
effects of mental conditioning, causing local 
students to run murderously amok and 
generally act rather strangely. 

This was the directorial debut of Michael 
Laughlin, who went on to make STRANGE 
INVADERS, and is not without some 
atmosphere and originality. The cast is also 
fairly strong for a relatively low budget 
production with the likes of oscar winner 
Louise Fletcher and Fiona Lewis (the heroine in 


DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN). Musically, there is 
an eclectic collection of styles, ranging from 
new wave to Tangerine Dream, which actually 
works quite well delivering several effective 
moments. 

Based on the novel 'School Days' and filmed in 
New Zealand, STRANGE BEHAVIOUR 
possesses a quietly evocative mood of sinister 
intrigue, Laughlin's direction often arresting 
and although the resolution to all the bizarre 
goings on is conventional in many ways, it 
does not detract from the strong build-up. 

The theme of conditioning is an interesting one 
and here it is explored with at least some 
intelligence. Well worth a retrospective look. 

MARK HOCKLEY 

THE TERROR 
OF TINY TOWN 

USA 1938 

DIRECTED BY: SAM NEWFIELD 
STARRING: BILLY CURTIS; YVONNE MORAY; 
LITTLE BILLY; BILL PLATT; JOHN BAMBURY; 
JOSEPH HERBERT; CHARLES BECKER: NITA 
KRFBS; GEORGE MINISTERI AND THE 
RANCHMEN; COWHANDS AND CITIZENS 
OF TINY TOWN, 

(subtitled A ROLLICKIN', ROOTIN', TOOTIN', 
5HOOTIN’, DRAMA OF THE GREAT 
OUTDOORS) 

You would think an all-midget cast movie 
would be able to sustain some interest 
wouldn't you? Unfortunately, you'd be wrong, 
this is tedious in the extreme. Not that it is 
really the midget's fault, the script here is just 
awful, the songs, in the style of the Munchkins, 
are horrible and the direction, by ultra-prolific 
Newfield (MAD MONSTER/LOST 
CONTINENT), is amateur. It's your basic 
hero/villain/girl western story - the villain sets 
up a feud between two families so he can rustle 
iheir cattle without getting the blame. The hero 
and the girl are on opposing sides, bul (yawn!) 
in love. How can the hero bring everybody 
together and save Tiny Town from the Terror of 
the villain (gasp!). 

The novelty of watching midgets soon wears 
off. their voices Itegin to grate and though they 
try their best, the acting side of things is 
woefully inadequate. They constantly poke fun 
at themselves, or rather the producer pokes fun 
at them; an unforgivably patronising prologue; 
all the sets are from 'normal' sized productions; 
the town's doctor is calk'd Dr Hy Lowman; a 
cook provides midget comic relief that is not 
very comic. No doubt they had great fun doing 
it, but the result is dull. Producer Jed Buell 
planned a series of 'midget movies' with 
TARZAN producer Sol Lesser which never 
materialised, though he did make an all-black 
cast western, again with Newfield, called 
HARLEM ON THE PRAIRIE (what a guy). Buy 
the way, does anyone know why there was a 
penguin in the barbershop? 

MICHAEL SLATTER 

COMING SOON: 

DISGUSTING SPACE WORMS EAT 
EVERYONE, EECAHI, GHOST OF RASHMON 
HALL, INCREDIBLE TWO HEADED 
TRANSPLANT, LADY FRANKENSTEIN, 
PHOENIX THE WARRIOR, SHOCK WAVES, 
SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED, TELL TALE 
HEART, MORE TRASH! GOD ONLY KNOWS 
WHAT ELSE! BE HERE! 



16 





UFO's, unidentifird flyinf* 
objects to give them their 
complete heading, and their atie^ inhabi- 
tants have been a mainstay of fktion in 
print and celluloid for the brst^arl of* 
the century. Though certainly tbc-yA^'^ 
invasion storyline was at its peak dAig i 
the 1950's, when UFO sightings 
United States were at an all-tirm hM (I 
think a case of life imitating art, ra^r 
than the reverse) the fact is that reported j 
cases of unexplained ftving phenome| 
have been a factor hunmi histocy fl 
much, muA longer ThroughoulTl 
course of these columns ^will ^ relalin 
to as it happened’ accounM^f clos^ 
encoWters, I m not going to be s 
you wittc Sunday^orl style ’^ens 
abduct EIm' pl^, but will tell you 
of real report^ in^denls, aimply give 
you the fac^nd let «u deAe. 


to.look 
ig as far 
Old 
[ample, 
iriot of 


There are various-starting pf>i 
at close encounters, 
back as the b)Ue ifsel 
Testament prophet Elij. 
ascended into the ^y, 
fire' caught in a whirlwii 
from Genesis, of angbls cllmSfng 
into heaven has also been interpi 
an early UFO incident . Other scl 
have even credited Moses' parting ol 
Red Sea to otherworldly inlerventil 
the bible mentions pillars of cloud 
fire in this passage, which some enlhu; 
asts have suggested could indeed be thi 
exhaust of a UFO! 

One of the most remarkable Biblical 
UFO incidents is that belonging to the 
prophet Ezekiel, whose account of a 
mysterious sighting is related at the start 
. of his Old Testament book. His 
encounter was told as thus: "As I looked, 
behold, a stormy wind came out of the 
^ cloud, with brightness 
^und it, and fire flashing forth continu- 
/^and in the midst of it came the like- 
ness of fo ur liv ing creatures. And this 
lyh^had the form 
fcfaces. and 


The living 

creatures moved about together, and 
from their centre came something that 
looked like burning coals of fire, like 
torches moving to and fro". E/ekiel's 
account was interpreted by the prophet 
as the likeness of the glory of the lord 
though UFO enthusiasts seem convinced 
lhat this description was an ancient 
account covering the earthly arrival of 
an alien spacecraft. The controversial 
Swiss author Erich von Daniken latched 
onto this concept and pul his ideas into 
his now legendary book CHARIOTS OF 
THE CODS published in 1%8. One per* 


son who found von 
Daniken’s ideas pre- 
posterous and set 
about rubbishing them 
was NASA engineer Josef F. Blumrich, 
who had been involv^ with the building 
of the Saturn V rocket, so obviously he 
knew his stuff on Ipacecraft design! 
Taking his cue fdbm*von Daniken's 
detailed perv^sioiroftCzekiers account, 
he set about studymg the facts convinced 
lhat 'Ezekiel's whal’ as it had now been 
termed woulfi fa]|aMrt under a rocket 
ip? examination. To 
edulation, he found 
lually be adapted 
ing practical design 
lie launched from 
could be ai 
iwin&nf 
^h continue* to 
i^ustibly suggesting the 
coulj bavejigv^our 

ovejMfTe ground 
lure’s might have 

)r bladjn^ for the final 
if the du^i^r ti^touch- 
a ro^B^ngine'In the ship's 


In the first of a regular new column 
•olherworlflly lH*lng' STEN’E CILVMBEKS 
browse's through his iioteb<M)k of 
unexplained phenomena, and relates in 
a non-sensationalist manner the facts 
behind strange (K’currences. covering 
everything from legentlary e’reatures 
to allegedly true-life I’FO encounters, 
read on with an open mind 


The Bible was by no means the only ref- 
erence source for past UFO sightings, the 
ancient civilisations all had their 
accounts of out of this world visitations, 
ranging from the Ancient Egyptians, 
through the Chinese dynasties and the 
South American civilisations such as the 
Aztecs. Indeed Alexander the Great, for 
instance, reported that his army was 
harassed bjHkpair of flying objects in 
329 leads me into another 

intereg^^^Kct of UFO-ology, as the 
amodl^H^lings during times of war, 
ad atpu nd imli^y 


thi 
"foui 
sets 
- foi 
Indeed] 
b^ 
positid] 
down, 
conic; 
propuh 
sketch 
and wij 
is pOS! 
ancient) 
, Obvii 
lexplan; 
pfionoj 



the main 
a fttailed 
, which I have seen, 
g too sensationalist, it 
; the transition from 
Ey to a viable spacecraft, 
k everybody accepts these 
Findeed Harvard University 
I Donald H. Menzel offered 
y tangible explanation of the 
ftal event by suggesting what 
^lly saw was a rare and com- 
klogicAl phenomenon known 
Itn, which is apparently the 
plight passing through ice 
jsull of this natural phe- 
7 give the impression of 
ftkelike beams of light ema- 
with, which could indeed 
magination give the impres- 
jhimmering obk 


dence of life from beyond the stars, 
whereas other, less imaginative individu- 
als, with less flights of fantasy ideology 
will always offer up an equally convinc- 
ing scientific conclusion. There are two 
sides to every story, and although I know 
which side of the fence I sit on, it is my 
intention in this column to not take sides, 
or influence your way of thinking. 


^nce again 
the^^mH^H^^VMTen who was 
convinced life on Earth was under the 
careful guidance of otherworldly life- 
forms. In his book CHARIOT OF THE 
GODS he cited that extraterrestrial 
astronauts landed at Nazea in the Andes, 
where massive lines are etched in the 
Earth's surface that can only be viewed 
from the air • so why are they there? 
Indeed the imposing lines dotted 
throughout the Andes including the mon- 
strous Candelabra a huge 595 foot carv- 
ing seem to serve little earthly good, but 
could they possibly be runways for 
ancient space visitors? Scientists eager to 
suppress the best-selling power of von 
Daniken's book (and its follow-up GODS 
FROM OUTER SPACE, which together 
sold in excess of 34 million copies!) 
countered his theories by suggesting that 
if visitors could find their way to earth 
through millions of miles of empty un- 
navigated space, why then do they need 
giant navigational signs to land once they 
arrived? Added to this it is pointed out 
Nazea's soft, unsuit- 

able for th^ 

I said tij« 

- AriJ^o-lhe | 

Kigh thfi 


where no logical explanation can be ren- 
dered. Next issue however, a change of 
direction as we distract our attention 
from outer space and look at the great 
unexplored regions of our own world, to 
discover the truth behind unaccounted- 
for legendary creatures. See you then. 



17 





After years of toying around with the Super 8 medium, Peter Jackson decided to take the step 
up to feature film production with the home-financed feature BAD TASTE. Perhaps never really 
expecting his film to be noticed beyond his native New Zealand, bad taste became an internation- 
al cult favourite. His follow-up feature, was the equally off-the-wall meet the Peebles, a bizarre all 
puppet sleaze epic which won equal amounts of praise from stunned critics and public alike. Now 
with his pet project brain dead finally coming to fruition, and ready to be unleashed on an unsus- 
pecting public, MONSTROlD took the opportunity to question this Antipodean auteur on his 
deranged celluloid output. 



"l suppose so. On that 
note, bearing in mind your 
home movie roots and the 
fact you regularly appear 
in your films (in the case of 
BAD TASTE giving yourself 
all the best scenes!) do you 
still see yourself as a fan as 
much as a film-maker?" 

"I'm a fan who's been 
lucky enough to make 
movies himself. I'm not a 
lulal horror fan however. 
Unlike a lot of horror nuts, 
I lan’l stand sloppy or bad 
horror movies. One trick 
with anything I do is that 
fact that I'm making them 
for myself - nobody else." 


"BRAIN DEAD is nol violent. It is very gory, 
but does not have a mean spirited atmosphere 
and it is that which upsets censors more than 
anvlhitig." 

"Certain moments in your movies scrape the 
barrel of poor taste. I'm thinking of MEET THE 
PEEBLES toilet scene for one, is there anything 
would consider too obscene for cellu- 


"A lot of what happened in MEET THE PEEBLES 
would be too obscene if it happened with 
humans instead of puppets- If somebody gets 
severelv upset with a large, talking rubber fly 
eating poo with a silver spoon, then they clear- 
ly have problems!" 


"Did you ever consider the marketing poten- 
tial for PEEBLES puppets?" 


"Peter, first of all for our readers who I'm sure 
are eagerly awaiting BRAIN DEAD, tell us a 
bil about the rnoviel" 


"BRAIN DEAD is a 'atrmbie-splatter' film, 
much in the manner of THE EVIL [)EAD, 
REANIMATOR or DAWN OF THE DEAD. 
I haven't tried to fop. or outdo those 
films.. -it's simply 'my zombie film', made 
because I love the films I've just men- 
tioned. II does have a lot of outlandish 
moments, but (>eopfe tan check these out 
for themselves'" 


"BRAIN DEAD is being touted by certain 
sources as the ultimate zombie film, is 
this a fair description, if nol how do you 
perceive iti" 


"Again. 1 haven’t really set out to make the 
"ultimate zomiue film" That would lx- the 
height of arrogante. I've simply tried to 
make a film that I would love to see, if il 
was somebody else's movie. It's been a 
few years now since the last decent zom- 
bie film, so I thought I'd have a crack at 


"With regards censorship, which 
must pose a problem, do you take 
this into consideration at all or 
simply forget about it and hope 
for the best? Also, considering 
BAD TASTE was passed uncut by 
the BBFC, who are notoriously 
scissor-happy, do you find por- 
traying violence as more slapstick 
helps?" 


one myself. I have tried to give it a different 
anfl original feel, compared to the other films, 
as well as a story and characters that perhaps 
have more depth than is usual for this type of 


film. ..but then all directors 
say that!" 


"When 1 finish the film I get a 
video of It for my collection, so 
censorship doesn't really worry 
me. Il's much more a problem for 
distributors in the different coun- 
tries that buy the film. Some coun- 
tries are tough, some are not. 
BRAIN DEAD is a very funny film, 
and that seems to be taking the 
edge off the censorship problem. I 
would imagine the UK censor should see the 
funny side as they did with BAD TASTE." 


together, and what made you decide to take 
the step into film production?" 


TASTE took four years to shoot, mostly 
on Sundays though, It was my first 
I (jmm film after about 1 2 years of 
Super 8 film making. BAD TASTE 
was really nothing more than an 
expensive home movie." 


"Yes, I play a small role as 
an undertaker’s assistant." 


"Going back to BAD 
TASTE, just how long did 
that film take to bring 


"Yes, Richard Taylor (PEEBLES & BRAIN DEAD 
SFXl and myself are intending to release a 
series of limited edition resin kits of many of 
the BAD TASTE, PEEBLES and BRAIN DEAD 
characters, starting early next year. He and I 
will actually l)e sculpting them ourselves." 



"Obviousiv being an all puppet cast, MEET 
THE PEEBLES Mould be a relatively cheap film 
to finance, are there any plans for a sequel, 
and What incidentally is your position on 
sequelsf” 


entire history of cinemi 
you most have liked your 

"KING KONG (1933) i 
(1927). rd be happy to 
GOODFELLAS loo." 


little embarrassed 
.ihout me hut the\ 

attract a lot ut atten- 
Imn to ihf Sum 
Z ealand film indu' 
try." 

"You said earlier 
you intend doing 
other types of films 
to straight horror 
movies, how about a 

enced by PEEBLES’ 
Vietnam segment?" 

war movie acluallv, 
but about New 
Zealanders in the 
1915 Gallipoli cam- 
paign." 

"In that case, in the 
1 , which film would 


ind THE GENERAL 
be associated with 


"I've got a good idea for a PEEBLES sequel, but 
it is not planned for the near future. I'll do 
sequels it I (eel like doing them." 


"Have you seen the British film REVENGE OF 
BILLY THE KIO, which was recently released 
here, your work certainly seems to have been 
an influence on this?" 



TTI makr- 

mieresled 
in. I don't 
care where 
they're 

made, although 
I do want a lot of conlioi. The fact 
kinda means I should probably be 
wary of Hollywood," 


"Supposing you did join the main- 
stream, and you got your complete 
artistic control like you said, plus an 
unlimited budget, what do you think 
you’d come up with, and back in the 
real world, what projects are actually 
in the pipeline?" 


"I want to do a big budget fantasy film 
one dav- My next film however, is 
called HEAVENLY CREATURFS. It's a 
drama alwut the relationship Iwtween 
two tifleen year old girls. It's based on 
a true slorv. set in New Zealand in 
1954. I feel like doing something 
tolallv ditlcrenll" 


"What sort of reaction do your films 
gel over there in New Zealand?" 


"The irilKS there are verv kind about 
my films, t guess some nt them are a 


"No, but I mt'1 the people who made it at 
Cannes and they seemed to bo nice guys." 

"And finally, a question I’m sure a lot of peo- 
ple want answering, just what the hell was in 
that bowl of alien puke In BAD TASTE?" 

"Yogurt, food colouring, frozen vegetables and 
musli!" 

And there you have it. Peter jackson is a 
nlm-maker soniewhaf misrepresenterl as 
merpiv a servant to the splatter movie 
Although his interests transcend the hor- 
ror medium, his genuine aftedinn for the 
material is emphasiH'd l)v his enthusiasm 
and genuine hclpiulness in making this 
interview possible Long may his reign of 
gory continue 


"What about A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 
6 which you were once linked with?" 


"I can't say loo much about il, it was written by 
Danny Mulheron (MEET THE PEEBLES) and 
mvself. I ihink il would have been THE Freddy 
film that the fans have been hanging out for. 
I’m not a great Freddy fan myself, but I would 
have had a hell of a good time watching ours!" 
I’m still hoping it will get made, but I'm not 
hanging around wailing for New 



by Richard Griffiths 


Mother love • what a lol M has to answer for. 
On a trip lo the zoo. LkwipI's domineering 
mother gets bitten by a slranga* rat-monkey. 
Back home she falls lernUy 'll, kilK a nurse, 
and (hen dies hornblv. But as we all kr>ow in 
zombie films, death is only (hr beginning. 
Out of the grave she comes, kilting a few 
more people including (he local Isarate vKar 
before Lionel catches up and locks the whole 
lot of them in the cellar. All would be fine, 
but fat-slob Uncle Les has designs on the 
house, and thinks il is about lime to hold a 
party for his friends. 

What follows is a high-powered, hysterical 
horror-comedy that follows Lionel's desperate 
attempts to cover for his mother's killing, save 
his faltering relationship with girlfriend 
Paquila, and come the end, slaughter the 
hoards of marauding zombies using a rotary 
lawnmower. 

While BRAIN DEAD does not claim to be 
original, jackson is doing himself a disservice 
by ranking it alongside REANIMATOR and 
EVIL DEAD- They are epitomies of restraint 
compared to this. The second half of the film 
is an unrelenting barrage of outrageous gore, 
the likes of which have never been seen 
before on the silver screen, as the zombies 
take over a house full of partygoers. The 
effects are top-notch and gags gleefully 
explicit. 

Whether this film will gel a certificate is a dif- 
ficult question. Either it will be released total- 
ly uncut or not at all because if one cut was 
made, the whole of the last half an hour 
would have to disappear. That said, BRAIN 
DEAD is not in the least bit vicious and the 
whole thing is so good-humoured it is difficult 
to see what valid objections the BBFC would 
come up with. Jackson loses one point for his 
very occasional awkward camera angles and 
the dodgy stop-motion rat-monkey but that 
aside he has wiped the floor of the horror- 
comedy market. Raimi and Cordon may as 
well pack up and go home. 

BRAIN DEAD 
NEW ZEALAND 1992. 

WINQNUT FILMS 

DIRECTED BY PETER JACKSON. 

PRODUCER JIM BOOTH 

SCREENPLAY STEPHEN SINCLAIR: FRANCES 
WALSH; PETER JACKSON. 

EDITOR JAMIE SELKIRK. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY MURRAY MILNE. 
PRODUCTION DESIGN KEVIN LEANARD-JONES. 
MUSIC PETER DASENT. 

CREATURE & GORE EFFECTS RICHARD TAYLOR. 
PROSTHETICS DESIGN BOB hleCARRON. 

CAST: 

TIMOTHY BALME (LIONEL) 

DIANA PENALVER (PAOUITA) 

ELIZABETH MOODY (MUM) 

IAN WATKIN (UNCLE LES) 

JED BROPHY (VOID) 

BRENDA KENDALL (NURSE MCTAVISH) 

STUART OEVENIE (FATHER MCGRUDER). 
UNCUT VERSION 101 MINLTTES. 


19 




HONE GROWN HORRORS 
A Beginners Guide to 
Making Monsters 

by John Fidler 

O nce in a while, every normal well balanced person 
gels the urge to create a terrifying creature. Some 
blood-crazed zombie, a genetically engineered brain- 
sucker. a tomb-robbing demon, or some bad assed extra- 
terrestrial with a passion for extreme violence. I know 1 do! 
This series of articles is aimed at such people. 

With the help of "Shred-Head" here and various other 
creations, we will cover design and sculpture and go on to the 
basic construction of rod puppets and cable operated creatures 
developed from these sculptures. Along the way we’ll also 
cover basic mould making and duplicating the finished artifact 
in durable and flexible materials, so they can be used in your 
movies or just as "decoration". We‘ll also cover making 
eyeballs and teeth. Naturally I want to hear your creature - 
making tips too. Get writing! Lets gel the demons out of your 
mind and into reality. I hopje you will find it interesting and 
we all learn something along the way. 

Please lets make an important point from the start. This is 
aimed at the hobbyist, it is NOT professional instruction, and 
there is NO substitute for professional instruction. Certain 
materials and processes used by the Monster Maker - like 
those of any other creative modeller can be dangerous if 
incorrectly used. While I will refer to the materials and 
techniques used, it is up to the individual to ensure safe 
working practices - all manufacturers will supply health and 
safety details - lake heed of them!! 

Right, that's the lecture over with, lets get down to some 
serious demonic design. 

Design can really make or break a creature creation. .The 
most magnificently crafted and constructed piece of work is 
not going to be any good if the design is poor. 

First you have to come up with a design (pretty obvious 
really), You may already have some idea in mind, but even so 
look at it carefully - break it down into the "fear-factors". 

What are the fear factors, and what should you look for in a 
design? 

I would suggest you examine what you find frightening. 
Skeletons, spiders, (argh!) reptiles? Examine what you find 
horrific in these things (I find the claw shaped posture in 
spiders legs the most disturbing aspect of these generally 
harmless but - to me - horrible creatures). Look at the results 
on screen, of the top monster makers. What is it in their 
designs that is so convincing? 

I find it very useful to look at how- good cartoonists bring 







Dui a characier in just a few lines. 
Bullies tend to have pugnacious, strong 
jaw lines. They have deep set eyes and 
lilted angry browlines - the very 
essence of meanness. Similarly, evil 
characters have tilted brows and evil 
smiles, often with a thin "pointed" face. 
Echoing the skull or skeleton is a 
popular fear factor as living corpses 
(even if portrayed "high-tech" like the 
Terminator endoskeleton ) always provoke a strong reaction. 

By the way. unintentional facial expression is something to 
watch out for. Don't accidentally make your creature look 
dumb if it's supposed to look mean. For figures, again study the 
"shorthand" of cartoonists. The posture and position of the 
limbs in a threatening pose or perhaps the way the head seems 
lower than the shoulders for example, and exploit it in your 
design. 

The distortion of the human figure is a good fear-factor, 
either as the result of extreme violence or by perverting the 
human form into a recognisable but disturbingly different 
shape.There are also one or two ground rules especially where 
eyes are concerned. It never pays to make eyes too big, they 
look "wrong". There is no reason why an Arcturian Bladelimb 
should not (They probably do!) have eyes the size of footballs, 
but because it doesn't happen in our nature it registers as 
"wrong" in a creature (look at the size of a whale's eye in 
comparison to it's size - it looks tiny). 

Similarly as you are probably aware, the pupil of the eye 
enlarges if looking ai someone viewed with 
affection. The opposite is equally true, so 
exploit it - make little, nasty pupils! 

And of course, it's importa 
or at least keep a book handy 
on anatomy 
(human and 
animal) 


gross distortions its important to keep basic anatomy sound. 
We're so used to seeing it ever> day that it "reads" wrong if the 
most crazily tw isted limb doesn't at least conform to the basics. 

Also to be truly creative, you should strive to be original, to 
develop your own .style. There's no harm in making your own 
version of your favourite movie monsters. It's great to have 
your own around the house and it's great practice, trying to 
match or improve the original • but why not invent your own'.’! 

Of course like all good designs form should fit function. 
Again lottk at the TERMINATOR series. Not only is the TI(K)0 
a good design/idea it looks like it should! A sleek, new. highly 
efficient killing machine. It looks shiny, straight out of the 
facioiy. Subliminal perhaps, but you can bet it’s intentional 
It’s useful to spend some time doodling and scribbling 
whenever you get u spare moment, in fact I find it very difficult 
to sit down and be creative to order. Creativity is a very 
Heeling thing, so go with it when the inspiration is there. For 
designing a three dimensional subject I would not get too 
detailed on paper. By all means sketch out the pose, or basic 
idea. But I find clay is better for working out the "nitty - 
gritty". It's very easy to draw something you can't sculpt - and 
not through lack of ability, not all things translate from paper to 
clay. 

One important point though:- generally, modelling materials 
are not suitable as a Hnal construction medium. They have to 
be soft and malleable so you can work them easily, therefore, 
even when sat on a shelf, the final constructs are easily 
damaged. This means you need to make a mould, so your 
creation can be duplicated in a stronger material, or a stronger 
and more flexible material in the ca.se of a puppet. While we 
will look at mould making at a later stage, bear in mind the 
more tentacles, antennae, stings etc your creature has, 
the more complex the moulds will be. 

I hope that's given you some ideas. It has 
me. just putting into writing, the 
things I like to see in a 
creature design. 
Anyway, have to go 
now, I thought I heard 
something creak out 


Qieaiune-i S Gieaied ^ ^idleA, 


21 



(ESTABLISHED 1878) 

LEADING SUPPLIERS OF 

PROFESSIONAL 



FOR THEATRE, FILM AND TELEVISION 

STOCKIST OF 

KRYOLAN : BRANDEL oVISTIQUE 
DERMACOLOUR JOHNWOODBRIDGE 
LEICHNER STARGAZER NATURO PLASTO 
AARON SHERMAN 

PROSTHETIC MATERIALS COSMETIC BRUSHES 
MAKE UP BOOKS MONSTROID MAGAZINE 


Personal or mail order 

22 TAVISTOCK STREET 
COVENT GARDEN 
LONDON WC2E 7PY 
Tel: 071 240 3111 Fax: 071 379 3410 


ACCESS, VISA, SWITCH, AMERICAN EXPRESS CARDS ACCEPTED 


TOAOVERTISE IN MONSTROID PHONE 0205 36W60 


; 0205 354S67 


^ L I E N ^ 


USA/UK 1992. (20th Centut 7 Fox) DIRECTED BY DAVID FINCHER. 

STARRING SIGOURNEY WEAVER: CHARLES S. OUHON; CHARLES DANCE; PAUL McGANN; BRIAN GLOVER: LANCE HENRIKSEN. 


ALIEN 3 is finally with us after a seemingly neverending ‘production 
heir, and has become one of the most hyped films of the year, 
although admittedly tor all the wrong reasons. Because of the movie's 
notorious production, it would be unfair to view the final product 
objectively without detailing what circumstances where endured to 
bring about the completed picture. Granted, an endless churn-through 
of a film's production notes is hardly the most inspired journalistic 
content, but I think that for this one film at least, that it is valid, 
Additionally, against my normal reviewing policy of not divulging too 
many plot details (an annoying tactic employed by far too many critics 
who seem to be under the misapprehension that relating a film’s 
storyline word for word followed by a minimalist personal opinion 
makes for interesting reading), I will during the course of the following 
be outlining certain plot threads, which bear comment, so if you don't 
want your viewing experience undermined then please don’t read on; 
ALIEN 3, as finally unleashed by a less than enthusiastic Fox is a dark; 
menacing; downbeat and thoroughly heartless piece of celluloid terror, 
and surprisingly, has emerged in my opinion at least, to be one of the 
more interesting genre releases of the year thus far. As outlined on 
page 25. ALIEN 3 could have finished up as just about anything from a 
brain-dead re-tread of Cameron's rollercoaster treatment, to an 
arthouse meander focusing on wooden spacecraft and God only knows 
what else. Instead we are served up an unapologetic. bleak treatment of 
the ALIEN myth which bravely decides to ditch all accepted mainstream 
sensibilities, and dares to subject its audience to an unhappy ending, in 
actual fact a more believable conclusion to the trilogy, a stark 
realisation of the probable outcome of a lone woman fighting for 
survival all these years against the most perfect killing machine in the 
Galaxy. 

When an unspecified emergency aboard the spacecraft Sulaco (from 
the close of ALIENS) causes the autopilot mechanism to jettison its 
slumbering crew in an escape capsule, said crew (Ripley, Hicks. Newt 
and Bishop) crashland on the prison planetoid Fiorina 161, a 
forbodding world inhabited only by a penal colony of rapists and 
murderers who have turned to religion to save their pitiful souls. The 
outcome of this turbulent plumit to terra-firma is the demise of all 
onboard except for Ripley (Weaver) who manages to pull through to 
fight another day. Regaining consciousness, Ripley reluctantly accepts 
her fate, and begins to expect the worse concerning the cause of the 
mothership’s self-destruction. Finding herself to be the sole female on 
the hellish planet, she strikes up a more than plutonic relationship with 
the facility's medical officer Clemens (Dance), all along under the 
realisation that she may just have brought along for the ride the 


parasitic hitcher for whom she has been the quarry for all these years. 
From herein ALIEN 3 treads familiar ground for a while, as the 
obligatory title creature carries out its customary metamorphosis, this 
time bursting out of a hound in true THiNG fashion, it is when Ripley's 
worst nightmares are affirmed that the movie really gets underway as 
she realises she is trapped on this worid with no conceivabie means of 
escape, and worse, in direct contrast to the second film, has no 
available weaponry to fight the predator with! 

If Ridley Scott’s original was a startling horror/SF crossbreed, and 
Cameron’s sequel was STAR WARS for adults, then ALIEN 3 tends to 
discard its science fiction elements as much as possible, and opts to 
go for the throat so to speak, to offer up the closest undiluted horror 
interpretation of the series so far. No doubt about it. this is pure horror, 
all the trappings are present, sweeping cameras prowling shadow- 
shrouded corridors, and no small amount of large-screen splatter, as 
protagonists meet untimely demises throughout, either being shredded 
limb from limb by the title critter, or in the case of one unfortunate 
getting dissected by a huge tan in a terribly messy setpiece. To 
underline the movie’s unflinching resolve to disturb, there's also a 
horrendous autopsy performed on Newt utilising the kind of tools that 
would cause Jack the Ripper to cringe! 

ALIEN 3 is bleak throughout, and offers no apology for being so, cast 
members are ousted with zero sympathy, the characters portrayed by 
Dance and Glover are disposed of at an alarmingly early juncture, with 
minimal regard, and the decision to similarly kill off the survivors of 
ALIENS is an unbelievably cynical tactic. Certainly in the confines of 
this story there was no place for them, but to cause a retrogressive 
misery to James Cameron's gung-ho caper, was I think a mistake, and 
a cheat to that director's endeavours. If like me you viewed the 
preceeding instaiments again, before watching this final chapter, you 
will no doubt feel distressed that the stirring finale of that epic was to 
no avail, and that in a few hours in the protagonists time, they'd all be 
dead! Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of Ripley is a character that has 
been etched into our memory for nearly a decade and a half now. and 
her eventual demise in this outing, was I must admit manfully, quite 
touching. Ripley's persona has been of the more endearing icons of 
science fiction cinema, and to realise she is now gone leaves 
something of an empty space within the genre. However, the decision 
to kill off the character was an inevitable one I suppose, portraying the 
stark realisation of the odds of surviving for so long against such a 
murderous adversary. Subsequently the fact Weaver wasn’t willing to 
portray the character further may have been the main reason for her 
offing, but I won't be so cynical to suggest such a thing, 


SIGDUflNEV IllEAVER 



A L ♦ E'N P 

This time if s hiding At the most terrifying place of all. 










Ripley's maternal indestructibility as portrayed here is a dual-edged 
sword, the fact that the alien won’t kill her makes for some interesting 
role reversals as she gets to hunt down the galactic serial killer, but as 
a result of this, we feel no danger for her, we know she won’t be killed 
or even harmed slightly, so a fundamental law of horror cinema is 
disregarded - if your lead protagonist, with whom the audience 
identifies is in no immediate peril, then the audience feels no fright. 
Which is a shame, for the other cast members in their uniformal 
baldness are not characterised sufficiently for us to feel sympathy for 
or allegiance to when they wander into danger. This is doubly 
disappointing, as I feel the alien in this trip is the most menacing yet, 
as not only is it fast as hell, no lumbering about for this xenomorph, 
this baby sprints, but for a change we get to see what the creature does 
with its prey - no fast edit cutaways, we see this mother ripping its 
victims apart! Reverting back to the original Giger design, this alien is 
sleeker and more sinister than Stan Winston’s robotic creations from 
the first sequel. Rendered utilising a combination of puppetry and 
particularly effective computer animation (a trend instigated by 
TERMINATOR 2 and already followed by SLEEPWALKERS), this is 
probably the most effective creature of the series. 

Considering what he had to work with, David Fincher has culled 
together a most impressive directorial debut, ALIEN 3 looks the part, 
his pop video CV has certainly helped this cinematic rookie bring a 
third unique visual style to the ALIEN mythos. 

Because it carries on with characters from previous instalments, you 
must look at ALIEN 3 in comparison to its counterparts, and though 
not nearly as impressive as its bretheren, ALIEN 3 is far from the 
unmitigated disaster I had feared. In fact it is one of my favourite 
offerings of a far from impressive year of celluloid shocks, call me a 
miserable old sod (again!) but for a mainstream production to take 
such a financial risk, especially in the present recession hit climate, and 
turn out such an unremittingly bleak picture, offering little hope, and no 
cheerful conclusion, I think Fox should be applauded, although the old 
cynic I am, I don’t think this was ever their intention, personally I think 
they would have been happy to milk this ‘franchise’,Weaver willing, into 
a sequel graveyard. As it is Fincher has come aboard under the most 
troubled circumstances and killed off the whole thing with an inkling of 
dignity and not a little bravery. Whether the mainstream audience Fox 
are targetting will appreciate this tactic, is highly unlikely, but I for one 
can appreciate what is on offer, and was tempted, considering the 
film’s history, to award the full five rating, but persuaded by my 
conscience which tells me this final product was merely the best of a 
bad job as far as all are concerned, I decided otherwise. 

In summary ALIEN 3 is a bleak, brutal and numbing film experience, it 
offers little hope and no comfort, it will not appeal to many and coming 
after ALIENS it will alienate (sorry!) the majority, but then again, I 
never was one of the majority. 

John Hill 


^ L I E N 


Just for fun, test your knowledge of the ALIEN trilogy with the following 

questions, which range from criminaiiy easy to disgustingly difficuit. The 

answers appear in SEVERED SEGMENTS. 

1) What was the name of the spacecraft in ALiEN and which author was the name an 
hommage to? 

2) John Hurt’s Kane character may have been the first to faii fowi of the aiien, but which 
actor was second to go during the series? 

3) Who wrote the original ALIEN and what feature films did he go on to direct? 

4) Though an originai screenpiay, ALiEN’s story was remarkabiy simiiar to a novelia by A.E 
VAN VOGT pubiished in 1 939, what was the titie of this story? 

5) One of ALiEN’s conceptuai designers, Roger Christian went on to heim his own iil-fated 
science fiction epic, what was it? 

6) What is Ripiey’s Christian name? What about Michael Biehn’s Hicks character? 

7) ALiENS was the official sequel, but in its native country there was a fiim caiied ALIEN 2! 
What was it known as in the UK and who directed it? 

8) Before directing ALiENS, James Cameron worked as production designer on an ALIEN 
rip-off. Name the film and which soon to be horror icon actor starred in it? 

9) Which Channei 4 US sitcom does ALiENS bad guy Paui Reiser star in? 

1 0) Which SF biockbuster did ALIEN 3 director David Fincher work on as a 1 9 year old? 



//,/ t i 

f I ' 




JPIN US! 


THE ALIENS FAN CLUB is a professionally run organisation with 
members around the world, providing the most up-to-date and interesting 
information from the world of ALIENS 

Our professionally typeset and printed "Facehugger" newsletter has been 
described as one of the best available, and features news, interviews, special 
reports, competitions, modelling and collecting tips, lively letters pages and 
a whole lot more 

Membership entitles you to: 

• Plastic Membership Card • Colour Publicity Still 

• Four Newsletters per year • Exclusive Merchandise 

• Special Product Discounts • Competitions 

A yean membenhip is |jil 0 1£I2 oeeneail ieed a cheque oe pmtal ordee, made payable lo Af C . lo 

THE ALIENS FAN CLUB. PO BOX II. LISKEARD. CORNWALL PL 1 4 6YL 





fiLIEN 3 - 

ALIEN 3, whether Twentieth Century Fox, 
Sigourney Weaver or the rest of the cast and 
crew admit It or not, has had one of the most 
remarkable and problematic production 
schedules in recent film-making history. The 
following Is a chronological account of just 
exactly what this film went through to make 
it onto the silver screen; 

EARLY 1989 

The first script submitted by 'Cyberponk' author 
William Gibson, is offered up for an intended 
Easter 1990 U.S. release. I remember receiving 
a copy of this script when I was still working on 
WHIPLASH SMILE magazine, and it had no 
mention of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley charac- 
ter whatsoever, as at the lime she had no inten- 
tion of doing another ALIEN instalment. This 
script was then revised by Eric Red and screen- 
writer/direclor of such genre pieces as THE 
HITCHER; NEAR DARK; and the recent BODY 
PARTS. Once again there is no place for 
Ripley. Again the script is re-written, this time by 
producers Walter Hill and David Gller, adapting 
the original Gibson piece. Finally a director is 
snared in the form of flenny Harlin {PRISON. 
ELM STREET 4) but he soon departs because 
of his dissatisfaction with the latest saipt which 
he claims is ‘nothing more than a re-hash of the 
previous two movies!* Harlin leaves to shoot 
DIE HARD 2 and Fox once again find them- 
selves without a script or director! 

LATE 1989 

The producers Hill and Giler enlist the services 
of screenwriter David Twohy (WARLOCK, 
TIMESCAPE) to start from scratch, and to now 
centre the storyline around Weaver's Ripley 
character, who Fox are in desperate negotia- 
tions with to get onboard the project. Twohy's 
script sets the action on a prison planetoid, and 
is reputedly the strongest script offered up dur- 
ing the entire production, but problems arise 
when Sigourney Weaver shows interest in get- 
ting involved (lured by a reputed 4 million dol- 
lars fee. plus a percentage of the gross and an 
executive producer credit!) and insists on story 
and dialogue input. 

JANUARY 1990 

Eccentric New Zealand director Vincent Ward 
fresh from his art-house cult hit THE NAVIGA- 
TOR is brought onboard as director, but also 
insists on re-wiiting Twohy's now rapidly alter- 
ing storyline. Along with John Fasano, Ward 
comes up with a re-write entitled 'A Medieval 
Odyssey’! which includes such allegedly off-the 
wall elements as a ludor galleon floating 
through space(!) the action being switched to a 
monastery colony based on a satellite made 
from wood(l!) and just for fun, demanded every- 
one in the cast to be killed off in the climax(lll). 
Unbelievably Fox decide to go with this plot-line 
and Twohy is never contacted again. 

APRIL 1990 

Vincent Ward, now at the helm orders drastic 
crew changes and shows oscar-winning special 
effects supervisor John Richardson and crea- 


THE ROHD 

ture designer Stan Winston the door. Pre-pro- 
duction continues in London, but Ward is at log- 
gerheads with co-wiriter Fasano, so brings in 
schpter Greg Pruss to polish up the screenplay. 

JULY 1990 

Ward’s eccentricity finally reaches the final 
straw with Fox, who wisely decide to oust him 
citing ‘creative differences', but to me at least, 
by now the damage had already become 
irreparable. John Fasano returns, to come up 
with yet another re-writel The production is shut 
down while further screenplays are commis- 
sioned. and directors auditioned. 

SEPTEMBER 1990 

David Fincher, who many regard as the new 
Russell Mulcahy for his widely acclaimed pop 
video work with the likes of Paula Abdul and 
Madonna is given his chance at feature film 
directing. Larry Ferguson (best known for such 
as HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and BEVERLY 
HILLS COP 2) is brought in to polish up the now 
totally mixed-up script. Fox and producers Giler 
and Hill are unhappy however with the treat- 
ment of Ripley’s character (bear in mind of 
course Sigourney Weaver hadn't even signed a 
contract stating she would even appear in the 
film yeti) and decide to have a go at writing the 
thing themselves! 

DECEMBER 1990 

After seemingly settling the whole fiasco them- 
selves. Hill and Giler’s script is rejected as well, 
as Fox were less than enthusiastic about it! 
Fincher brings in his own writer Rex Pickett 
(writer/director of FROM HOLLYWOOD TO 
DEADWOODI) to dissect the storyline to his lik- 
ing. Finally after nearly two years of production 
hell. Sigourney Weaver signs on the dotted line 
to reprise the role of Ripley, but under the provi- 
so (are you ready for this?) that Picket! is 
ditched in favour of Hill and Giler! Shooting is at 
last scheduled to begin at Pinewood on January 
14th, 1991. 

EARLY 1991 

Shooting gets under way at long, long last for an 
intended Christmas release date. During pro- 
duction no less than ten(l) revisions are made to 
the Hill/Giler screenplay. Problems also arise as 
shooting took place during the Gulf War, and 
allegedly the producer in charge hightails it back 
to the safety of the States, leaving the crew 
without the vital production support required, 
and leaving novice director Rncher in charge to 
shoo! footage at whim. Reportedly over thirty 
takes of a single shot were common practice, 
and not surprisingly the budget escalates from 
an intended 37 million dollars to 50 million and 
beyond! 

AUGUST 1991 

Fincher offers up a rough-cut of the film, which 
Fox are so unhappy with that they order a 
month of re-shoots, to give the him a more up- 
beat ending, the current one also appearing 
strikingly similar to that of TERMINATOR 2. 
Problems arise however when Miss Weaver 


TO RUIN? 

refuses to film said re-shoots due to her unwill- 
ingness to shave off all her hair once more in 
line with her appearance in the remainder of the 
film. 

199Z 

Unable to complete their vital re-shoots suffi- 
ciently. Twentieth Century Fox are left with a 
downbeat, bleak final product, and decide to 
pull ALIEN 3 from its planned U.S. Christmas 
release. Fox uncertain about their finished pro- 
duction prove quite reluctant to showcase their 
movie in the genre press. FANGORIA maga- 
zine for instance is denied initial ’creature' shots 
until after the film hits the screens, due to the 
fact that Fox want to keep the creature’s identity 
hidden - despite the fact everybody has already 
seen the beast in the prewous two instalments!! 
The first sneak preview trailers start to find their 
way onto cinema saeens. and look surprisingly 
encouraging with some startling monster point 
of view shots, and a totally bald cast! 

After several missed release dates in both the 
U.S. and UK to avoid other features such as 
BATMAN RETURNS and LETHAL WEAPON 3, 
ALIEN 3 finally gets its U.S. release on May 
22nd 1 992. where it fails to enter the Variety (op 
ten charts at the expected number one position, 
despite a respectaUe 23 million dollar opening 
weekend gross. Within a month the film has 
dropped out of the top ten altogether! Once 
again ALIEN 3 gets re-shuffled for its UK 
release to presumably avoid LETHAL WEAPON 
3's debut and finally sees the light of day in UK 
cinemas on August 21st. 



MONSTROID RATINGS 


F 


RIGHTS 


0 Absolute Pits 

XXX 

Watchable 

X Very Poor 

X X X X 

Good 

X X Below Average 

X X X X X 

Instant Classic 


BATMAN RETURNS 

XXX 

USA 1992 (WARNER BROTHERS) 

DIRECTED BY TIM BURTON. 

STARRING MICHAEL KEATON; DANNY 
DEVITO; MICHELLE PFEIFFER; CHRISTOPHER 
WALKEN. 

BATMAN RETURNS, alont- wilh Al lEN III was 
one of the main genre talking points this 
Summer and it is this film that tame to us wilh 
the greater initial promise, after all the rumours 
concerning ALIEN Ill's troubled production. 
Therefore, I assume most of you out there have 
seen this by now (and if not then why are you 
reading this magazinel). Suppr>sedly more of a 
true Tim Burton vision of the Dark Knight 
comic capers than the original BATMAN, that 
fact, despite Burton's visionary genius and 
superlative skill al creating wild fantasy 
imagery is ironically what, in my o(>inion, lets 
this sequel down, and leaves the original film 
as the truest vision yet of cinematic super- 
herodom. 

Where BATMAN was dark, not only visually 
but also psychologically - the humour was 
blacker than the proverbial coalminer's laun- 
dry, here BATMAN RETURNS follows in a sim- 
ilar, though less menacing vein. The characters 
appear less dangerous, the psychotic trappings 
of the first film have I'leen watered down. Even 
though the film is visually bleak (there are no 
daylight scenes at all!) with everything awash 
in industrial grey and daubed in a coal of mid- 
Winter snow, the altitude is less ominous, and 
though it doesn't really reach the lone of being 
upbeat, the whole scenario is far less disturb- 
ing, and in at least a couple of scenes the 
whole thing threatens to take on the fairytale 
features of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS! So, 
call me a miserable old sod if you like, hut it 
was the incredibly dark, brooding quality of 
the original that made it so different from any 
other mainstream Hollywotxl fantasy, you real- 
ly fell that the characters were disturbed, I 
mean let's face it, for someone to run around 
in a bat costume, he’s got to he a tad off his 
trolley? 

For the record, the story starts wilh an insight 
into the creation of the penguin, born hideous- 
ly deformed and unceremoniously dumped 
into the Gotham City sewers by the mutant off- 
spring's elitist parents. Thirty three years later, 
and rumours abound of a half-man, half-bird 
creature alive under the city streets, whilst in a 
parallel storyline corrupt mover and shaker 
Max Schreck (Christopher Walken in a role 
wilh al least as much screen lime as the three 
leads, hut mysteriously wilh no billing on the 
advertising!! is creating his own monster when 
he pushes his nosey secretary Seline Kyle 
iPtpiller looking almost as dowdy as she did in 
FRANKIE & lOHNNY) to her supposed dcwm 
lrt)m his highrise office block. When the pen- 
guin emerges from the sewers and calculates a 
plan with Schreck to assume the role of 
Gotham mayor (his intentions are more lecher- 
ous than political!) a new villainess appears in 
the leiine form of Catwoman, and it is now that 


Batman emerges into the fold, in a slorv that 
tries to mould the three lead characters togeth- 
er, in an amalgam of corruption, broken 
alliances, and in the case of Batman and 
Catwoman's alter-egos a sexual coupling. 

In truth the plot is quite weak, and Burton has 
probably chewed off more than he can handle 
by trying to fcKus on three lead characters all 
al once, it must be said that he leaves some- 
thing to be desired as a storyteller. However, 
when viewing BATMAN RETURNS as a fantasy 
film, and viewing it from a visual perspective, 
it is here where the film and Burton as a sculp- 
tor of cinematic mayhem come into their own. 
Tim Burton is without equal when it comes to 
creating unique, beautiful and truly warped 
fantasy images. Whether it be the astounding 
sweeping view of the snow-blanketed Gotham 
zoo, with its unusual artificial animal scul|>- 
tures near the opening of the movie through to 
the truly bizarre funeral courtage of real (xm- 
guins towards the close, the imagery of BAT- 
MAN RETURNS is breath-taking, and mention 
must also go to the stunning prixiuclion design 
of Bo Welch. The film's look has obviously 
been heavily influenced hv early German 
expressionist cinema, as is lipped off by the 
fact that Walken's character is namc-d alter the 
original NOSFERATU. 

Despite quite a bit of interplay between Ihe 
three leads, we don't really get to know Ihe 
protagonists like the first film, certainly we gel 
no further insight into the psychological prob- 
lems of Ihe title rhataiTer, Once again Tim 
Burton gives more time to his villains, however 
unlike the larger than life portrayal of the loker 
in the original, DeVito's Penguin just doesn't 
exude evil, rather than being deeply derangt<l 
like loker lack he just seems mildly confused! 
Certainly he looks the part, thanks to another 
Oscar worthy Stan Winston make-up, but like I 
said he just doesn't impose as a criminal 
genius. As for Catwoman portrayed by Pfeiffer 
in what can only be described as a fetishists' 
wol-dream come to like costume, her character 
is purposefully sympatlielic, and comparisons 
are etched between her and Batman/Bruce 
Wayne's mind anti situation. This was poten- 
tially the most interesting plot route, but like so 
much of the storyline is under-developed. Still, 
despite its plot failings, BATMAN RETURNS is 
a film I would urge you to see for yourself, 
each viewer will take something different from 
it, certainly I was in a minority in my admira- 
tion of the first for its sinister undertones. There 
may not be a belter fantasy film all year, but 
this was one release that I really expected to 
tup its predecessor as good as it was. and I 
can't in all honesty say it has, although visually 
It is a masierwork, and on a technical level loo 
it is incredible. Ihe new gimmicks with Ihe 
Balmobile alone, should be seen to be 
lielieved. It is ironic then, that like its title char- 
acter, BATMAN RETURNS is a film of dual per- 
sonalities, one half hrilliant, one half disap- 
pointing, but in summary this is a remarkable 
film from a remarkable film-maker, but it could 
have and should have been more remarkable 
still. 

JOHN HILL 



CRITTERS 3 

X 


USA 1992 (EV) 

DIRECTED BY KRISTINE PETERSON. 

STARRING AIMEE BROOKS; lOHN CALVIN: 
KATHERINE CORTEZ; LEONARDO 
DICAPRIO; GEOFFREY BLACK; DON OPPER, 

I must confess a soft S|XJ| for Ihe first CRITTERS, 
and even found moments of undemanding 
entertainment m Ihe generally uninspired 
sequel, however my generosity towards Ihe 
series screams to a halt with this travesty. 

Cliche city throughout, wilh only the fact that it 
was directed by a woman, and the two most 
resourceful characters in the film also Iseing 
female giving this outing any inkling of origi- 
nality, otherwise this is unbelievably bland and 
thoroughly derivative. Basically Ibis is CRIT- 
TERS go to town, as they infest a seedy apart- 
ment block, the result coming across like a 
dimeslore DIE HARD wilh added furballs, or 
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED wilh brains not 
included either! 

This really is pitiful stuff, and if you can derive 
any pleasure from seeing a furry mupfwl farting 
(with subtitles!), then I hope you and this turgid 
tale arc very happy together! Bo warned, CRIT- 
TERS 4 will he with us very soon! 

lOHN HILL 

DEAD AGAIN 

X Jit X X 

USA 1991 (CIO 

DIRECTED BY KENNETH BRANAGH, 
STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH; EMMA 
THOMPSON; ANDY GARCIA; DEREK )ACO- 
Bl: ROBIN WILLIAMS. 

'Trash fan editor in arty, mainstream film 


26 



appreciation sandal! Read on:' 

Shakespeareo wunderkind Branagh dips his toe 
into the Hollywood mainstream with encourag- 
ing results in this stylish Hitchcockian thriller, 
resplendant with super-natural undercurrents. 
The fact that Branagh directs, takes on two 
roles and tries to keep his American accent in 
check, and manages to pull it off with some 
credibility Is very commendable, but why am 1 
telling you all this? Well at a time when there 
would appear to be a genuine dearth of quality 
genre product, it can pay dividends exploring 
different avenues for watchable product, and 
DEAD AGAIN is a fine case in point, being one 
of my favourite films of last year, and If as I sus- 
pect, you let it pass you by on the cinema 
screen, now Is the time to redeem yourself by 
catching this quirky caper on cassette. 

Basically what It is all about Is the story of a 
mysterious woman iThompson) who suffering 
from a case of chronic amnesia, and hysterical 
flashbacks. Is put into the care of L.A. private 
detective Mike Church (Branagh). The plot 
unfolds to Include various twists and turns, and 
under the hypnotic powers of a mysterious 
antique collector Franklyn Madson (jacobi) 
reveals the cause of Grace's problems may 
result -from turmoil in a previous life. What 
transpires Is a thoroughly compelling journey 
through the sub-conscious, and in true 
Hitchcock style, the plot is gradually pieced 
together, allowing the audience to grasp certain 
clues until the final denouement. 

DEAD AGAIN is at times horrendously over the 
lop, and arrogantly melodramatic, but it is 
knowingly camp, and Ihe film uses this to its 
advantage. The movie is beautitullv cralled and 
looks sumptuous • the inspired black and while 
iwrlions being nicelv evocative ol the era. The 
climax IS a timr-de-tofce cii sui>eriluijus editing 
and wddiv eccentric acting. As you would 
expect the acting is of a high calibre, Branagh 
making a personable hero, and like his fellow 
Ihespians hams it up far beyond Ihe call of 
duty. Robin Williams has a token role as an ex- 
shrink which adds to the film's credibility, and 
though certain accents slip In and out of focus 
too frequently, and a reiwaled viewing causes 
Ihe plot inconsistencies to Itecome more glar- 
ingly apparent, DEAD AGAIN Is recommended 
for a muliilude of reasons. Not least of whic h a 
sequence between Branagh and Thompson 
which Is an object lesson to would-be film- 
makers of how effective a combination of pul- 
sating music and hysterical raving can he to 
create an air of relentless tension, in a stunning- 
ly orchestrated setpiece. Somewhere up there 
Ihe Master has a big grin on his face. Highly 
recommended. 

JOHN HIIL 

DEF BY TEMPTATION 

xxxx 

USA !990 (SIMITAR ENTERTAINMENT) 
DJRECTED BY |AMES BOND 111 

STARRING lAMES BOND III; KADEEM HARDI- 
SON; BILL NUNN; .SAMUEL L lACKSON; MIN- 
NIE GENTRY; RONNY CLANTON; CYNTHIA 
BOND; FREDDIE lACKSON. 

The Itesi film lo come from Troma since COM- 
BAT SHOCK (which isn't saying an awful lot 
jclually), DEF BY TEMPTATION marks the 
return lo blaxploilalion horror, joining the new 
wave of black I'ilm-m.iking, he.ideil by the likes 
of BOYZ N THF HOOD and NEW lACK CITY, 
though DCr BY TEMPTATION is in a far higher 
class than similarly themed 70s vehicles such 
as BtACULAand HI ACKFNSTIEN. 
Encompassing all of the positive aspects of low 
budget indeiienclenl (dm production DEF BY 
TEMPTATION is hv turns literate, witty, sexy, 
sivlish and street. Concentrating on a vampire 


theme • although the word is never uttered dur- 
ing the film, and several aspects of vampire 
legacy are disregarded (appearing in sunlight 
for instance), director/screenwriter/star lames 
Bond III has crafted a well above average tale, 
which bar a somewhat rushed and jumbled cli- 
max is recommended on all levels. 

JOHN HILL 

THE LAWNMOWER MAN 
XXX 

USAAJK 1992 (FIRST INDEPENDENT) 
DIRECTED BY BRETT LEONARD. 

STARRING PIERCE BROSNAN, |EFF FAHEY, 
lENNY WRIGHT. 

Stephen King's short story of suburban horror is 
re-written, re-vamped and all but thrown out in 
this attempt to cash-in on the (admittedly emi- 
nently exploitable) theme of virtual reality. 
Indeed. Ihe great man himself has taken out a 
lawsuit against the filmmakers over the use of 
his name on the marquee of a film that has 
patently nothing to do with the source material. 






fii ri|yiarty|iim'Tmi*~ i 
bLiui A Bod. ^ 


IAWNMOWER 

MAN 


Pierce Brosnon plays the scientist Dr Angelo, 
working for a sinister government research 
establishment. You know its sinister because all 
the sets are lit in very dark, cold blues and 
greys. His wife leaves him because when he's 
not in the laboratory subjecting an ape to virtu- 
al reality scenarios, he spends all his time at 
home strapped into a rotating armchair with a 
pair of goggles on doing Ihe same thing to him- 
self. 

His experiments hit a hit of a rough spot when 
said simian goes berserk and has lo he put 
down (i.e. shot). Aha, says Angelo, in true 
mad-sc ienlisi fashion, • l)ul what if I had a 
human subject to work with? Cue Jeff Fahey as 
Inhe, the amiable hut simple handyman who 
wants nothing mure in life ihan lo go about his 
business of mowing peoples' lawns, and to stay 
out of Ihe wav of the various small-lown inhab- 
itants who persecute him and thus set them- 
selves u|) as victims lo be "iuslifiablv" executed 
towards the end of the film. 

Angelo plugs )ohe into Ihe system and hey 
presto! his t.Q. increases dramatically and he 
gains superhuman powers, getting to gri|>s with 
local nymphomaniac Jenny Wright in the 
process. As usual, things start lo go wrong 
when Ihe men at the lop decide that Angelo's 
research needs a boost for military purposes 
and aller |oIk>'s mind-siimulating drugs causing 


him lo become uncontrollable. What follows is 
standard monster-on-the-rampage material. The 
evil townsfolk are disintegrated in a burst of 
colourful (but low-budget) effects, leading Dr. 
Angelo and Jobe to a final showdown in the 
virtual reality arena. 

The main problem with this film is that the plot 
elements are cliched and progress very 
mechanically from one situation lo another. 
The themes of Ihe establishment as monster, 
the scientist whose work for the goods of 
mankind becomes corrupted under the estab- 
lishments influences and characters who 
'deserve lo die' have been played out too many 
times (although I still liked Ihe scene where the 
priest Is killed in his own church by someone 
with a biblical name • a nice, though rather 
obvious touch). 

The true 'stars' of the film, of course, are the 
virtual reality sequences but even these look 
cheap and the concept is not exploited suffi- 
ciently (e.g. the scene with Fahey and Wright 
which could have really gone over the top with 
bizarre sexual imagery) to direct attention from 
the has-been storyline. On the good side, Fahey 
turns in a very believable performance - his 
transformation by expression from simpleton to 
genius is well handled and Brosnan is accept- 
able in a fairly straight forward role. There is 
undoubtedly a good film waiting to be made 
about virtual reality, as anyone who has 
donned one of those plastic helmets will know, 
but unfortunately this wasn’t it. 

JOHN L. PROBERT 

LOST IN TIME 
X 

USA 1991 (EVl 

DIRECTED BY ANTHONY HICKOX 
STARRING ZACH GALLICAN; MONIKA 
SCHNARRE; MARTIN KEMP; BRUCE CAMP- 
BELL; ALEXANDER GODUNOV. 

Disregard the Lovecrait inspired sleeve artwork 
and the crudely inserted titles on the actual 
film, for LOST IN TIME is in fact WAXWORKS 
2. and though WAXWORKS needed a sequel 
like a moose needs a hat stand, the shoddy re- 
tltling is something of a mystery considering the 
relative success on video of Ihe original outing. 
Like Ihe original WAXWORKS, LOST IN TIME 
is a jokey, compendium assortment of horrors' 
greatest hits, here utilising an Alice through Ihe 
looking glass scenario to journey through such 
familiar sequences as FRANKENSTEIN; ALIEN: 
THE HAUNTING; DAWN OF THE DEAD ad 
nauseum. 

While Ihe film never intends to be taken seri- 
ously. some of the jokes wear very thin, very 
quickly, for example Bruce Campbell comes in 
for yet more slapsfick abuse. Like in ihe origi- 
nal’s Marquis de Sade episode, director Hickox 
reveals a penchant for medievil horror once 
again, with an overlong black magic episode 
here, which soon collapses into farce. It is very 
easy to say that "it's only a laugh, don't take It 
seriously" but while such a statement may hold 
some credibility, it would be fine if for every 
inane title such as this, there was a powerful, 
thought-provoking film such as HENRY - POR- 
TRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, hut the fact Is that 
brainless films such as LOST IN TIME are 
becoming far too commonplace, and are by 
iheir very nature killing off Ihe genre. Not near- 
ly as clever as it thinks It is then! 

Fortunately Hickox has reformed, his HELL- 
RAISER III - HELL ON EARTH is a totally differ- 
ent bowl of blood, and after his juvenile output 
leading u|) lo it, comes as a pleasant surprise. 
LOST IN TIME however should be avoided 
unless you thought the HOUSE movies were 
'neat' or you fancy yourself as a celebrilv 
cameo spotter - this effort has walk ons from 


27 



endless celebrities • Patrick Macnee; David 
Carradine; Maxwell Caulfield; Drew 
Barrymore; Bob Keen etc. What originality! 

JOHN HILL 

MUTRONICS 

(AKA; THECUYVER) 

X 

USA/JAPAN 1991 (MEDUSAi 

DIRECTED BY SCREAMING MAD GEORGE 
AND STEVE WANG 

STARRING MARK HAMIU; VIVIAN WU; [ACK 
ARMSTRONG; DAVID GALE: MICHAEL 
BERRYMAN; IIMMY WAIKER; lEFFREY 
COMBS; lINNEA QUIGLEY; 

There may be a good idea for a film lurking 
somewhere half hidden beneath the irritating 
and foolish plot o( MUTRONICS, but if there 
indeed is. it has most certainly been well and 
truly buried by juvenile handling, poor acting 
(with the exception of David Gale as Balcus, 
the lead villain) and a script which is so utterly 
infantile as to make many cartoons (which this 
film appears to be attempting to emulate) seem 
adult and highbrow. In fact, this really should 
have been rated U rather than 15 as it plays 
like a kiddies adventure matinee, except for 
some very occasional blood and ooze. 

The twin directors, Screaming Mad George 
(makeup man on BRIDE OF THE REANIMA- 
TOR) and Steve Wang (makeup man on 
GREMLINS II: THE NEW BATCH) who were 
also responsible for the creature effects, seem 
intent on making the entire film as childish as 
possible, characters regularly spouting lines 
which would have been rejected from 
‘Transformers'! As a Japanese/American co- 
production I had hoped for a merging of styles 
taking Yoshiki Takaya's comic book hern, ‘The 
Guyver', an apparently indestruclable, super 
armoured individual who battles against evil 
mutant creatures and giving it a fast paced, 
stylised treatment. But unfortunately the end 
result falls far short of these expectations. 
Produced by Brian Yuzna, (director of BRIDE 
OF THE REANIMATOR and SOCIETY) and 
starring STAR WARS luminary Mark Hamill 
(although his part is relatively minor) one might 
have expected the film to at least look good, 
but the S3 million budget does not appear to 
have been well spent and even the numerous 
monsters themselves never look like anything 
other than men in rubber suits. 

David Gale, villain from the REANIMATOR 
films, is the only person to come away from 
this debacle with any credit, his performance a) 
least enjoyable. Composer Mathew Morse does 
also supply a nice Iheme, but his music during 
the film itself is rather inferior. 

The directors and wriler |ohn Purdy must take 
full blame for MUTRONIC's short comings 
although it is quite plain lhat they produced 
exactly the kind of film which they intended, in 
the vain hope of finding the TEENAGE 
MUTANT NIN)A TURTLES audience. 

MARK HOCKLEY 

NAILS 

XXX 

USA 1992 (MEDUSA) 

DIRECTTED BY |OHN FLYNN 

STARRING DENNIS HOPPER; ANNE ARCHER; 
TOMAS MILIAN; CLIFF DeYOUNG. 

Not really the sort of thing we'd usually cover, 
but Medusa sent a copy and the movie is 
loplined by our fave Dennis Hopper, so what 
the hell! With eternal oddball Hopper doing 


his renegade cop (read Dirty Harry) impression 
under the direction of |ohn Flynn, who last shot 
the totally plotless Steven Seagal potboiler OUT 
FOR JUSTICE, you get some indication as to 
what's in store in this formula cop thriller. 

After his partner is gunned down by Cuban hit- 
men for "knowing too much" (no cliches here!) 
unorthodox detective Harry (hard as) Nails 
(Hopper) digs up the dirt and sets about finding 
his partner's assassin. With a marginal amount 
of political corruption and a subplot involving 
Nail’s estranged 'whore' wife (Archer really 
slumming it up) that is about it plulwise. 

Written by Larry Ferguson who had a hand in 
the ALIEN 3 fiasco, this really is unspectacular 
formula film-making, enlivened only by the 
wild mis-casling of Hopper in a role he's at 
least a decade too old for! Hopper always man- 
ages to bring some off-the-wall aspect to any of 
his characters, and certainly the scene here 
where he showers with his dog, and gratuitous- 
ly elopes after a villain while stark naked, prove 
this Hollywood wild-card still has some fire 
inside him! Worth a look with limited exp)ecta- 

JOHN HILL 

NAKED LUNCH 
X 

USA 1992 (FIRST INDEPENDENT) 

DIRECTED BY DAV)D CRONENBERC- 

STARRINC PETER WELLER; lUDY DAVIS; IAN 
HOLM; ROY SCHEIDER; lULIAN SANDS. 

David Cronenberg is a film-maker who has 
never been afraid to go against the grain, by 
tackling unique and outrageous subject matter 
with bravado results. Although his work is 
always imaginative and professional to a proint, 
his out-put since his career pinnacle VIDEO- 
DROME has been somewhat disappointing. 
THE FLY for example was a brave slep into the 
matnstream but had its Haws and was not the 
achievement many saw it as, whereas DEAD- 
RINGERS although compelling in parts and a 
highly personalised film was over-estimated 
beyond belief. 

So to NAKED LUNCH "erotic, narcotic, psy- 
chotic' the celluloid adaptation of an 
'unfilmable' book. Certainly a challenge for any 
director, even one of Cronenberg's ample abili- 
ty, but the end result would be best summed up 
as "ponderous, pretentious, pathetic." 

The film's poster states "The book was banned. 
The film should never have been made." Need 
I say more! Re-in$>ate your rational thought and 
see this for the ponderous bore it really is. 
Nexl... 

JOHN HILL 

PROJECT AKO 

(lAPAN 1986 DIRECTED BY KATSUHIKO 
NISHDIMA) 

DOMINION TANK POLICE 

OAPAN 1989 DIRECTED BY KOICHI 
MASHIMO) 

xxxx 

Hot on the heals of Manga Video's outrageous 
FIST OF THE NORTH STAR come these two 
equally outrageous (though for different rea- 
sons) animated releases. Japanese animation, 
anime, is exhilarating, faster than a speeding 
bullet, with complex and interesting storylines, 
full of humour (black and otherwise) and has 
no comparison with any Western animator, the 
culesy-pie cartoons of Disney and Don Blulh 
are not worthy to kiss their arse. The comic vio- 
lence of TOM & JERRY or ROAD RUNNER 
don't come close lo the excesses to be found in 


any one of these releases. Geared more 
towards the adult, the animation is highly 
stylised and probably follows a traditional pat- 
tern in the East, but to these cynical eyes, it's 
all so refreshingly original and exciting. 
PROJECT AKO - In a future city, built from the 
ruins of a UFO crash 16 years previously, two 
girls, A-ko and C-ko, start their first day at 
school. A-ko has superhuman strength and 
soon discovers a rival for the affection of C-ko 
in B-ko, a spoiled rich girl who constructs huge 
attack robots lo vanquish A-ko and win C-ko's 
friendship- Meanwhile, a monstrous spaceship 
is smashing its way lo Earth, intent on taking C- 
ko, who they believe is their princess, lost in 
the crash 16 years before- A-ko and B-ko must 
temporarily join forces to stop the aliens from 
destroying the city in the quest. Absolutely 
hilarious, almost male-free story, with a weird 
lesbian undercurrent (probably unintenlional), 
it races along with bizarre throwaway charac- 
ters like the alcoholic alien captain and a 
gigantic, Schwarzenegger-muscled female war- 
rior! Highly recommended- 
DOMINION TANK POLICE PART I & II lo give 
it it's full title, is not so frenetically paced as the 
previous film, but has just as much good 
natured humour. The police in this future city 
are furnished with big, destructive tanks lo bat- 
tle the bad guys who, in this case, are trying lo 
steal uncontaminaled urine (cue loads of jokes 
about "taking the piss') for an unspecified rea- 
son. After an hour of devastating half the city, 
we are asked lo join them in acts III and IV for 
the conclusion of the story, so I guess this 
comes from a TV series, but is no less effective 
for lhat. The characters are a little stereotypical 
and the animation not so detailed, but there is 
still more than enough action to keep everyone 
interested, there's even an impromptu 
striptease by the bad guys, er, gals. 

These films are hugely entertaining and trans- 
late extraordinarily well - much care is taken 
over the script and dubbing and it shows. 1 look 
forward to all future releases from Manga 
Video. 

MICHAEL SLATTER 

REVENGE OF BILLY THE KID 
XXX 

UK 1991 (MEDUSA) 

DIRECTED BY JIM GROOM. 

STARRING MICHAEL BALFOUR: SAMANTHA 
PERKINS; JACKIE BROAD: TREVOR PEAKE; 
BRYAN HEALY. 

Horror comedies are noloriously difficult to get 
right, and it would seem that (he more effective 
titles of late (RE-ANIMATOR, BAD TASTE 
spring lo mind) strike the balance by utilising 
dubious taste in all areas and dolloping on the 
gore in a similar vein to some of Monty 
Python’s more slapstick outbursts. With this as 
a yardstick the independent British production 
REVENGE OF BILLY THE KID pretty much suc- 
ceeds as an effective horror, comedy cross- 
breed. 

The story of a half-human, half-goal creature 
terrorising a family of retard yokel farmers 
affords plenty of opportunity fur vast amounts 
of less than subtle humour plus endless farting, 
belching and cow-shit escapades. The creature 
is reasonably successful and the gore is abun- 

Though the humour never rises out of the toilet, 
and the production is more suited to the 
naughty schoolboy market, REVENGE OF 
BILLY THE KID has studied its influences well 
and knows where its coming from. Reasonably 
rewarding lor an evening of thoroughly unde- 
manding viewing. 

STEVE CHAMBERS 


26 


THE RUNESTONE 

XX 

USA 1992 (EV) 

DIRECTED BY WILLARD CARROLL 
STARRING PETER RIECERT, lOAN SEVER- 
ANCE, ALEXANDER GODUNOV. 


This is basically a monster on the loose sce- 
nario, given greater depth by it's background In 
Norse mythology. 



The slorv concerns the titular runestone uncov- 
ered by an archaeologist who becomes pos- 
sessed through means of his discovery by the 
beast Fenrir, apparently intent upon bringing 
about Ragnorok, the Norse version of 
Armageddon. The premise is a good one and 
expectations remain relatively high for the first 
third of the film, although little of real sub- 
stance transpires. The beast goes about his 
murderous work and doesn't appear to be 
doing very much to achieve even a mini aproc- 
alypse, although there is an underdeveloped 
subplot concerning the desire of the archaeolo- 
gist turned monster to win back his ex-girl- 
friend. Finally, with the aid of a returned Norse 
god (Alexander Godunov from DIE HARD), 
Fenrir is dispatched. 

Although this is not a bad film, what could 
have been a stylish and absorbing apocalyptic 
thriller is reduced to mere monster mayhem. 
Director and screenwriter Willard Carrol! must 
take the lion’s share of the blame for this as the 
idea behind it all. based on Mark E,. Rogers 
novella, was potentially excellent. 

On the plus side, there is a persuasive score 
from David Newman and a pleasing, quirky 
performance by William Hickey, who alas Is 
done away with very early on. 

THE RUNESTONE is passable as a lime filler, 
but it's a pity that something more significant 
was not produced given the strong elements 
the film-makers had to work with. 

MARK HOCKLEY 

SHOCK EM DEAD 

X 

USA 1990(HICH FLIERS) 

DIRECTED BY MARK FREED. 

STARRING TRACI LORDS; TROY DONOHOE; 
At DO RAY; STEPHEN QUADROS. 

Slip into vour spandex trousers; strap on your 
pink siratocaster and bring along a big-breasted 


bimbo for we're off to heavy metal horror 
cliche land! 

SHOCK 'EM DEAD has sat on the shelf for two 
years before its UK release, and though not 
quite as dire as the similarly themed TRICK OR 
TREAT, I feel not that many people would have 
obiected to its staying there gathering dust for- 
ever! The story centres around a typical nerd 
who sells his soul to what appears to be a 
voodoo-praclising bag-lady in return for 
becoming the world's biggest rock star! So 
once gaining his wish, what does he do? He 
joins a local garage-band who are due to go 
out on a support slot! This is typical of the 
film's logic, like the fact that the wimp cum 
rocker must kill to survive as a penance for his 
sins! 

SHOCK 'EM DEAD is an alleged comedy, 
though the jokes don't hide the ineptitude of it 
all which was probably the mam intention. In 
fact all the film offers is some incredibly out- 
dated TWISTED SISTER era metal and its trap- 
pings and plenty of flesh-flashing for the pubes- 
cent jerkoff audience, and funnily enough the 
only bimbo in the film who doesn't sh^ her 
outfit is porn queen Traci Lords - weird film or 
what! 

Wc still await a half-decent combination of 
horror and metal, and this doesn't even come 
close, so give this a miss and buy a GWAR 
video or go see OBITUARY live instead! 

{OHN HILL 


TOP FLOP 

Each Lstiue we Irl one of our writers 
vent their anger on si particular film 
they feel strongly about • the first 
victim b 'SLEEPWALKERS’. 


SLEEP]/i/ALKERS 

USA 1992 COLUMBIA TRI-STAR 

DIRECTED BY MICK GARRIS 

STARRING MADCHEN AMICK; BRIAN 
KRAUSE; ALICE KRIGE. 

Boy, am I going to enjoy this. It can get a bit 
tedious trying to find some new way to trash or 
appraise a movie from the American main- 
stream when in general they are cliched gloss 
with a cast of clones and content of previously 
broken taboos. But the experience of seeing 
Stephen King and Mick Garris' SLEEPWALKERS 
on a genuinely large screen so vexed me that I 
am compelled to try and inform people of how 
pissing a film can be. Garris is a bastard son of 
a Spielberg who can be adulated only for reel- 
ing in some entertaining fantastic television in 
"Amazing Stories". His subsequent work 
includes FUZ2BUCKET and CRITTERS 2, terrif- 
ic credits for someone sought to helm what 
was promised to be one of the true fright fests 
of the year. Yet it became a hit, being along 
with THE LAWNMOWER MAN one of only 
two straight horror films to make double figure 
millions in the First Quarter revenues stateside. 
Would I be perhaps just a lad loo cynical to 
suggest that their success lies with them being 
tagged with the name of our Maine man. King 
(who sloriologically had very little to do with 
the infinitely more successful THE LAWN- 
MOWER MAN). 

Banjaxed in a television stupor, Garris immedi- 
ately fails to accommodate the big screen of 
it's scale potential. This is where my furore 
should begin. If you are going to film in scope 
for Satan's sake use that scope, don't play unto 
the demands of video and television, though 
this may in retrospect hold more to the direc- 
tor's honesty and non-belief in any real Ihealri 



cal future for his project. It is still a laziness 
that I do not appreciate for him not to film to a 
cinema's dimensions. 


What Garris and King believe to be shocking 
taboo in the incest, overrated splatter and mur- 
der of young girls is hardly so. Incest has been 
explored lu greater and more artistic effect in 
CAT PEOPLE and other movies. The murdered 
child is a shrivelled corpse with the nice but 
jarring touch of teeth braces and a perfectly 
kept rose behind her presumably equally shriv- 
elled ear, "It's a little girl" exclaims a cop char- 
acter. That is as far as Garris will dare go. 
wimping out on going after more children and 
King instead, writing in a dumb plot of luring 
into very public danger a beautiful High 
School virgin played by Madchen Amick. 
Nobody says it has to be bimbo pure (bimbo 
being the role Madchen is called on to play all 
too successfully) so why do the Brady's (played 
by Brian Krause and Alice Krige) risk High 
School, his dating a girl he is set to kill and 
high speed car chases with the police. The lat- 
ter suggests that the sleepwalkers have an 
uncontrollable urge for evil exhibitionism. This 
still doesn't explain why they do not make it 
easier on themselves by securing victims from 
out of town. If it makes them look like hot- 
headed monsters it also makes them seem like 
the stupidest monsters of film. 

The actors come through very well considering 
exclamation mark. Madchen Amick suffers the 
most failing cute in the irritating guise of a 
superaclive teenage moron with a brand of 
facial contortionism normally attributed to 
Laura Dern which smothers character with car- 
icature. Brian Krause is subtly evil until called 
upon to be utterly evil when his dialogue of 
Kruegerisms turns him into a massive idiotic 
joke. Alice Krige, never before a personal 
dream doll of mine, has attained a sleek beauty 
with age, a ghostly beauty which tallys well 
with a welter of emotions from fear to fury. Her 
mination is that the Kruegerisms prove heredi- 
tary, "Little Charles, hasn’t he got his mothers 
one-liners". Supporting players also do the best 
they can with their casting burdens. Another 
idiotic exercise is that of the cameo, fine when 
cleverly introduced but dumb when entire 
scenes are centred around the guesting celebs 
with no furthering of the plot enjoyed by it. 
Mark Hamill's early appearance as a cop could 
have been wished for as a main character, but 
the shoddy throw-ins of Stephen King, Clive 
Barker, Tobe Hooper and )ohn Landis are 
merely intrusive. Ron Perlman’s appearance is 
disastrous for a wholly unique reason in that he 
is facially uglier than Brian Krause's first stage 
make-up which he so closely resembles and 
could have saved the production time and 
money by having them forego that work and 
hiring him to stand-in as the first stage monster. 
Of the effects we have some nifty computer 
blending and morphing but the latex work 


29 



being mcied and m«lef(?d is unimpressive and 
mundane, ihe creatures at various stages 
resembling "Mammal", the mutants ol THE 
CURSE and the thing in CAMERON'S CLOSET, 
Though a fantasy horror we are called on to 
believe m too much. The melding car forms 
though clever not loo long ago are suddenly 
familiar from a number of effects in a succes- 
sion of popular adverts tbal bridge our most 
popular soaps. The Invisibility gag though 
acceptable to movie monsters is strangely inex- 
plicable when applied to a motorcar 
Implausibility abounds with the most humor- 
ous of these involving a regular cal that races 
up a tree then crashes head first through a tight 
little window-pane. Any normal cal would hit 
the window and crash to the ground. 

To cap it off irritating 50's and 60's music is 
incorporated to indicate the possible age of the 
sleepwalkers. If the equivalent was British 
maybe we could expect "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep 
Cheep" and "I'm a Tiger" on Ihe soundtrack. 
King is said to afear these more than any other 
of his creations. They say the greatest fear is 
that of Ihe unknown also, but with no clear 
mythos these were certainly unknown to us 
and failed to astonish us still. An idea was at 
least explored to tell us something about the 
sleepwalkers in Brian’s class read poem, so 
why not more said in that opportunity. In such 
an unsuccessful movie. I guess it fails to mat- 


PAUL HIGSON 

SPLIT SECOND 
XXX 

UK 1992 (EV) 

DIRECTED BY TONY MAYLAM. 

STARRING RUTGER HAUER: KIM CATTRALL: 
NEIL DUNCAN; MICHAEL I. POUARD; 
ALUN ARMSTRONG. 



Thoroughly derivative monster caper that bla- 
tantly rips-off everything from ALIEN to 
BLADERUNNER. but somehow manages to 
retain its own personality. 

Rutger Hauer is the burnt-out cop in a future 
London, plagued by ecological crisis, who is 
trailing a mysterious psycho, who may or may 
not be the devil himself. Director Maylam who 
helmed the banned THE BURNING flits 
between familiar scenes like a pro, and his past 
record should tip you off to the fact the he's 
not afraid to portray explicit violence to spruce 
up the proceedings. 


Rutger Hauer sleepwalks his way through, 
while newcomer Duncan provides comic relief 
and gets all Ihe best lines and poor old Kim 
Cattrall is totally wasted as the token female. 
SPLIT SECOND is nothing new that's for sure, 
and despite a terribly vague and confusing 
conclusion, it is worth a look to prove that we 
can easily compete with Ihe Yanks in Ihe 
cheap and nasty rip-off stakes. 

lOHN HILL 

TIME OF THE BEAST 
0 

USA 1 992 (CICl 

DIRECTED BY |OHN R. BOWEY 

STARRING BRION )AMES; CAROLYN ANN 
CLARK: MILTON RAPHAEL MURRtLL 

Brion lames, one of the screen's most depend- 
able heavies (c, LETHAt WEAPON i; HOUSE 
3) here switches sides to portray the hero in 
this brainless, plotless, juvenile caper concern- 
ing a genetic experiment gone awry. 

With PREDATOR styled thermal p.o.v, shots, 
endless mulling around dimly-lit corridors and 
similar ALIENisms, this sorry endeavour cannot 
muster a single frame of inspiration throughout 
its interminable duration. With the cast 
scenery-chewing to their heart's content and 
an indescribably shoddy muppel monster, this 
loser genuinely contains no redeeming proper- 
ties whatsoever. Clowns should be in a circus, 
not behind cameras! Dire indeed! 

lOHN HILL 


TWIN PEAKS - FIRE 
WALK WITH ME 
XXX 

USA 1 992 


DIRECTED BY DAVID LYNCH 

STARRING KYLE MACLACHLAN; SHERYL 
LEE; MOIRA KELLY; DAVID BOWIE; CHRIS 
ISAAK: HARRY DEAN STANTON; RAY WISE. 

TWIN PEAKS was a weird little TV series, a 
curious mix of murder mystery, small-town 
melodrama, soap opera, backwoods 
Manichaeanism, Stephen King style horror and 
surreal mischief- Slow-moving, digressive, 
occasionally rambling, often incoherent, some- 
times looking like it was all made up as it went 
along, it was a funny, sad. frightening, beauti- 
ful and infuriating experience. The movie is 
more of the same. Described as a prequel, a 
return to the last days of Laura Palmer's short 
and demon-haunted life, it runs more like an 
addendum to the TV series, sort of a filling-in 
of the blanks, a colouring of details, without, 
that is, giving anything away (so, for example, 
the eventual fates of Dale Cooper and Audrey 
Horne, amongst others, left suspended at the 
climax of the TV series, remain unknown). 

The first twenty minutes work the best. A flash- 
back to the events immediately following the 
murder of Teresa Banks, Bob's first victim, fea- 
turing two new FBI eccentrics, played by Chris 
Isaak and Keifer Sutherland, they exquisitely 
mix black comedy and police procedure with 
dream logic and a vague sense of dread. The 
rest of Ihe movie, centring on the last week of 
Laura Palmer’s life, is overlong, rambling, inco- 
herent and occasionally, in the dream 
sequences and the night club scene particular- 
ly, extraordinary. The grand finale, featuring an 
angel straight out of religious kitsch, once 
again highlights David Lynch’s propensity for 
the gratuitous happy ending, 

Never less than entertaining, rarely more than 
trifting, TWIN PEAKS - FIRE WALK WITH ME is 


probably best interpreted as Lynch's gift to 
"Peakies" everywhere; an encore, a curtain 
call, one last skit tor all you fans out there. It’s 
loud 'n' larv. features one helluva soundtrack 
and a couple of great performances, from 
Sheryl Lee as Laura and Rav Wise as her dad. 
but ultimately, like the T\' series, doesn’t quite 
add up to the sum of its parts. 

DAVID ALEXANDER 

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 

XXX 

USA 1 992 (GUILD DISTRIBUTION) 

DIRECTED BY ROLAND EMMERICH. 

STARRING lEAN - CLAUDE VAN DAMME; 
DOLPH LUNDGREN; ALLY WALKER; ED 
O'ROSS: TINY LISTER. 

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER is the Hollywood debut 
from German film-maker Roland Emmerich 
who also helmed the sf-aclioner MOON 44 
last year. Seemingly assuming that if you com- 
bine Ihe pulling-power of two half-price 
Schwarzeneggers in a single package then you 
will come up with a full-size hit, indeed this 
two are better than one policy has proved rela- 
tively successful at Ihe l)ox-office. 

The setting is Vietnam 1 969, and in the heat of 
battle Sergeant Scott (Lundgren) flips his lid 
and sets aboul massacring his regiment and the 
local villagers until confronted by one of his 
own men, Luc Devereaux (Van Damme) and 
the result of this confrontation is their mutual 
demise. A quick switch to modern day USA 
and a terrorist attack on the Hoover Dam is 
thwarted by a team of fearless special soldiers, 
two of whom would appear to be Scott and 
Devereaux! Obviously what we have here is a 
secret military experiment in creating the ulti- 
mate fighting force by reanimating dead 
troops, and brainwashing them until they 
become thoughtless, fearless, robotic killing 
machines. However things take a twist when 
Devereaux starts to regain his true memories, 
and flees Ihe living dead legion, aided by TV 
reporter Veronica Roberts iWalker). A similar 
chain of events also leads to Scott gathering in 
past thoughts, and once again he flips, mas- 
sacres all and sundry and heads out after his 
arch rival fuelled by revenge! 

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER as to be expected I sup- 
pose from the pedigree of its leads tends to jet- 
tison its science fiction elements, especially its 
FRANKENSTEIN-esque plot threads in favour 
of standard gung-ho heroics, and it must be 
said, very large doses of ultra-violent bloodlet- 
ting. We gel only the slightest hints behind the 
process which created this inhuman platoon, 
and even less insight as to where they get their 
incredible physical strength from. However if 
you're a fan of violent action, or are just inter- 
ested in the cyber scene as a whole UNIVER- 
SAL SOLDIER will certainly appeal- On Ihe 
acting side of things Lundgren has the most fun 
portraying a villain, especially relishing his 
character's pwnchani for stringing together jew- 
ellry made from human ears! Van Damme who 
lakes lop billing is now reaching the stage 
where he can almost siring together a line of 
audible dialogue and Ally Walker as the token 
female does little more than scream, swear and 
play potential victim. 

Certainly UNIVERSAL SOLDIER looks good, 
especially on Ihe big screen and obviously 


30 



(.ire has been Uiken to find visually impressive 
lo< Jtiuns, whether it Ik* the Hoover Dam or the 
Drand Canyon Throunhoul, the film look*, to 
h.ivf a bigger budget than it actually has. 
German director Emmerich keeps it tiowing. 
but despite his ambitions, he's no lames 
Cameron, and all in all UNIVEKSAl SOLDIER 
IS no TERMINATOR, 

In the end UNIVERSAL SOIDIFK is a good 
action film, but a pcxir s< lenc e in tion one. 

STEVE CHAMBERS 

XTRO //; THE SECOND 
ENCOUNTER 

X X 

USA 1941 ifIKST INDEPENDENT) 

DIRECTED BY HARRY BROMLEY DAVEN- 
PORT 

STARRINL. IAN MKTIAEI VINCENT; PAUL 
KOSLO, TAKA BUCKMAN; lANO I RANDSEN; 
NICHOLAS I FA 

Prolwblv THE most blatant ALIEN(S) rip-off of 
all-timi*. \TRO I! is thoroughly un-original 
sluft, and the lynical lactic of liming its release 
lo coincide with that of ALIEN 1 just adds to 
the unashamed pilfering. 

A secret underground facility expcrimenling in 
travelling between dimensitrns, runs into trou- 
bles when a team of scientists fails to return, 
and the only survivor seems to have brought 
back some alien lifeform for Ihe ride! It should 
then come as no surprise that next on the menu 
is a c hestburster seciuence, followed by endless 
corridor-mulling, and a lumbering monster on 
the loose picking off victims one at a time! 
Having nothing whatsoever to do with the cjrig- 
inal XTRO (which wasn't that original itself 
when vou think about it, but at least it had 
some interesting imagery), this sectuel settles for 
a cartton copy of ALIEN greatest hits, though It 
must Ik* said that in its favour, the production 
values are very high, and director Davenport 
has shed his workmanlike approach of his first 
encounter, and here kc*eps Ihe action tracking 
along at a fair pace. With a cast seemingly 
doing It for the money, including Vincent who 
seems to be stuck in this sort of thing these 
days, and Buckman. who since her bimbo days 




in Ihe CANNONBAl L RUN films, has matured 
inlt; a veritable Joanna Pa( ula clone with alxtui 
the same acting abilily, XTRO II can be viewed 
as either a totally derivative cash-in, or a rea- 
son.tbly slvlish low budget shcKker - the deci- 

STEVE CHAMBERS 



MONSTROID 

WRITER'S 

RATINGS 

GRID. 



DAVID 

ALEXANDER 

STEVE 

CHAMBERS 

RICHARD 

GRIFFITHS 

JOHN HILL 

MARK 

HOCKLEY 

NICK 

JOHNSON 

KEN MILLER 

JOHN L. 

PROBERT 

MICHAEL 

SLATTER 

ALIEN 3 


3 

2 

4 

3 

2 

4 

3 

5 

BASIC INSTINCT 



3 

2 

2 

4 



4 

BATMAN 

RETURNS 


'4 

1 

3 

3 


5 

4 

1 

BILLS TEDS 
BOGUS JOURNEY 


3 

4 

4 

4 


4 


5 

CAPE FEAR 


1 

2 

3 


2 

2 

5 

5 

FREDDY’S DEAD 

1 

1 

2 

2 


1 


3 

3 

FREEJACK 


2 


3 




2 

2 

LAWNMOWER 

MAN 


4 


3 


2 

3 

3 

4 

LOST IN TIME 


2 

3 

1 

3 


1 

4 


MUTRONICS 

0 



2 

1 


3 


4 

NAKED LUNCH 

4 

2 

1 

1 


2 

3 

2 

4 

OMEN 4 

0 



2 




1 

0 

SLEEPWALKERS 


3 

1 

3 


2 


4 


SPLIT SECOND 

2 

2 


3 


3 

2 


3 

UNIVERSAL 

SOLDIER 


3 

4 

4 

3 

3 

4 




31 





Casting our nets worldwide, we scour 
the international scene to bring you 
coverage of movies either awaiting a 
UK release, and in certain cases, titles 
destined never to receive one! 


THE BOniEYARD 
X X JlC 

USA 1990 

DIRECTED BY JAMES CUMMINS 

STARRING ED NELSON; DEBORAH ROSE; 
NORMAN FELL; PHYLLIS DILLER; JAMES 
EUSTERMAN. 

THE BONEYARD is one of Ihose low budfiel 
shockers which feature pruminenlly in 
American glossy publicalions, but ihen seem lo 
disappear from sight and never get an airing in 
the UK. 

The film starts with two policemen contacting 
a retired psychic in view of investigating the 
mysterious deaths of three children. The action 
then switches lo a mortuary on the brink of 
closure, where the reason for the infant's 
demise would appear lo be a dormant EVIL 
DEAD type curse, which soon re-animales the 
kids and leads the protagonists into a nightmar- 
ish encounter. 

THE BONEYARD is the directorial debut of FX 
man Cummins (STRANGE INVADERS, 
HOUSE) and is a surprisingly feisty first offer- 
ing. The putrified, charred children are particu- 
larly creepy, though the same can't be said for 
the twelve fool mutant poodle which appears 
towards the end of the movie. The cast 
includes a few surprises, nol least Ed Nelson, 
star of ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS 
and producer of THE FLESH EATERS, also in 
there is Phyllis Diller (REFORM SCHOOL 
GIRLS) as the sinister morgue manageress, who 
herself mutates into a grotesque monstrosity, 
which really should be seen to be disbelieved. 
THE BONEYARD is low on plot though high 
on incident, and manages to deliver some gen- 
uinely effective shocks among its more ridicu- 
lous moments, and while it may never be 
regarded as even a minor classic, it is belter 
than a lot of the bilge available presently, and 
deserves some sort of UK release. 

STEVE CHAMBERS 

CHINESE GHOST 
STORY 2 

XXX 

HONG-KONC 19( 

DIRECTED BY CHING SlU TUNG. 

STARRING LESLIE CHEUNG. 

The original CHINESE GHOST STORY was, I 
suppose, the film that first brought Western 
attention lo the new-wave of oriental fantasy 
film-making. Although by and large a slant- 
eyed re-tread of Sam Raimi’s work, CHINESE 
GHOST STORY was admittedly one of the bet- 
ter films lo emerge from the nol entirely inspir- 
ing oriental scene. Despite being bereft of a 
coherent story, ihe movie carved a niche for 
itself amongst Western sensibilities due lo its 
outlandish visual style and unique setpieces. 
Inevitably there were bound lo be sequels, 
Hong Kong is no less merciless than the West 
for re-hashing successful properties. This first 
follow-up leads on directly after Ihe original 
and has the hero, Ning, returning home after 
his ordeal, before a wild chain of events first 
lead him to be imprisoned, before once ntore 


getting mixed up in a storyline of spiralling 
confusion concerning various spooks and 
demons, while our hero becomes obsessed 
with a mysterious maiden who he seems con- 
vinced is Tsing from the previous instalment. 
About half-way through, CHINESE GHOST 
STORY 2's plot becomes such a chore lo fol- 
low that I simply gave up and immersed myself 
in its visuals, which are at limes impressive. 
The film cribs ideas mercilessly from such 
diverse sources as Lovecrafl; Raimi; Leone; 
Kurasowa; THE EXORCIST; TREMORS and 
NIGHT OF THE DEMON and hurls Ihe lot into 
an over-flowing melting pot from which the 
action spews forth like a brash, violently 
colourful, Iripped-oul MTV nightmare! 

Despite a storyline only fathomable by Ihe 
actual writers, where protagonists inexplicably 
fly around, and a crummy rubber monster with 
chicken legs lumbers in and out of the pro- 
ceedings, CHINESE GHOST STORY 2 is rarely 
uneventful, and (hough hardly a classic, is 
above-average for this sort of material. 

JOHN HILL 

GODZILLA Vs KING 
GHIDORA 

xxxx 

lAPAN 1992 

DIRECTOR AND WRITTEN BY 
KAZUKI OMORI. 

Now, before you start to read this, t must point 
out that this is not your usual, fun poking 
GODZILLA review. Pointing out Ihe silly rub- 
ber suits, bad effects and dubbing and (he 
whole inanily of the Japanese monster genre. 
No way. 

This 20 million dollar Sci Fi film is packed full 
of action, excellent effects and a story line that 
would confuse a mensa member. In 1992 a 
UFO appears in Tokyo. The Future Men as 
they are called ask to meet the Japanese 
Government, which is arranged. They tell them 
that in 2204 Japan no longer exists, destroyed 
by nuclear pollution when Godzilla reawakens 
and attacks Tokyo. They say that they can save 
Japan by going back to 1944 and taking 
Godzilla lat this lime a dinosaur) off of his 
Island so that in 1954 H bomb testing won't 
turn him into Godzilla Mega monster. This is 
arranged but while on Ihe island they leave 
behind 3 Dorals who turn into King Chidora 
when the H bomb is dropped. 

They return to 1992 to find Ghidora attacking 
Japan. It (urns out that in 2204, Japan owns the 
World. Without nuclear weapons they were 
free to huy up the World through economic 
strength and (he future men from Ihe Earth 
Union wani lo destroy Japan now before they 
can start to buy up the World. But Godzilla (he 
Dinosaur, resting under the sea, is hit by a 
nuclear sub and turns into Ihe giant mutant 
lizard we all know and love. Heading straight 
for Tokyo he kills Ghidora and then turns on 
Japan only to have Ghidora brought back from 
(he future as a cygorg and the main battle 
begins. 

This is undoubtedly the best Godzilla film ever 
made. Crammed with special effects, out- 
landish action; cyborgs; great acting!?) and top 
notch anamatronics. this is a must see for all 
Godzilla freaks and S.F. fans alike. With 


GODZILLA VS MONTURA-THE MOTH 
MONSTER nearing completion costing a reput- 
ed 28 million dollars it will be interesting lo 
see if they ran lop this epic. Persrinallv I can't 
see it, but then again I am a Reverend of the 
Church of Godzilla and he is our Lord so how 
can 1 say anything against him? 

GREG LAMB 

NEKROMANTIK 2 
XX 

GERMANY 1991 

DIRECTED BY JORG BUTTCEREIT. 

STARRING MONIKA M; MARK REEDER; 
SIMONE SPORE; BEATRICE M; WOLFGANG 
MULLER. 



The first NEKROMANTIK was a taboo-break- 
ing, stomach-churning, exploitation entry 
made for a pittance by a team of talented indi- 
viduals from Berlin. The film heralded a new 
centre for screen depravity in Germany of all 
places, and its artistic approach to such an 
unmentionable subject earned the film quite a 
few fans worldwide. 

So to the inevitable sequel which begins with a 
flashback to the 'climax’ of the first escapade, 
and Ihen proceeds under its own steam, as an 
attractive young woman (Mtjnika M) exhumes 
Ihe original film's hero's freshly-buried corpse, 
takes it back lo her flat and attempts to bring it 
back to life 'Sleeping Beauty' fashion with a 
kiss - when this fails she tries less hygienic 
approaches, the details of which I'll leave lo 
your deviant imaginations. The plot takes a 
twist when Miss M meets a 'living' boyfriend 
and strikes up a seemingly normal relationship, 
in fact she seems to repent so much that she 
hacks up her deceased lover's cadaver (though 
she does retain a rather intimate piece of his 
anatomy, wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge, as 
a poignant reminder of limes gone by!) 
However it would seem you just can’t keep a 
good necrophile down, as Miss M's thoughts 
revert back lo her true obsession, much lo Ihe 
dismay of her boyfriend! 

NEKROMANTIK 2 is a far more accomplished 
picture than the original in terms of technical 
flair, however unlike the former outing it lacks 


32 



ihe viscerat punch which made NEKROMAN- 
TIK such an unforsettable experience. Our cin- 
ematic antibodies so to speak have built up. 
and suih material no longer retains its shock 
value, which Is a pily for NEKROMANTIK 2 
has Mule else on offer. The movie is at times 
needlessly arty, a film within a film segment 
shows Buitgereil is having fun with abstract 
symbolism, but it adds nothing to Ihe main 
body of the work. Similarly a sequence nf a 
dinner-party where guests sit in iruni of a tele- 
vision showing scenes oi seal mutilation, may 
focus on the t haracier s morbid fascination 
with death and dec as. but moreover It was 
probably included to provide some cheap 
mondo lilillalion. As fur the soundtrack - 

The original SEKROMANTIK will probably 
remain Ihe ullim.ile examination of necrophilia 
on film, although Ihe Belgian film LUCKER- 
NECROPHACUS is probably the more remark- 
able, and lei us loially forget Britain's redun- 
dant entry into corpse-tucking art LIVING 
DOLL which was far loo coy to cover the sub- 
ject with anv courage. Still NEKROMANTIK 2 
has Its share of depravity and readers may want 
to make their own mind up. The film turned 
up at london’s famous Scala club throughout 
Sepieml)rr. and should see repeal viewings in 
Ihe luture. 

NICK JOHNSON 

IMIGHTMARE COf\lCERT 

XXX 

(UN CATTO NEL CERVELLO: I VOLTI DEL 

TERROREi 

ITALY iqPI. 

DIRECTED BY LUCIO FULCI, 

STARRING LUCIO FULCI; DAVID L THOMP- 
SON; RiA D£ SIMONE: SACHA DARWIN; 
BRETT HALSEY. 

As I'm sure you are all aware, prolonged expo- 
sure to the more degenerate moments of Italian 
gore guru Lucio Fulci's infamous output will 
leave you a biller, twisted soul with an uncon- 
trollable urge to commit copycat carnage, or so 
we are led to believe if you lake in some of the 
irrational ravings nf our moral protectors. Who 
would have thought though, that the latest pur- 
veyor of such nonsensical ideas would be none 
other than Fulci himself • for the main thrust of 
NIGHTMARE CONCERT is an investigation 
into such inane theories- 
Afler everyone had long written off Fulci, 
whose output since THE NEW YORK RIPPER 



had Iseen a pale imitation of his former glories, 
most entries deserving their obscure fate (see 
AENICMA, MURDEROCK, THE DEVIL'S 
HONFV, ZOMBIE 3 etc, etc), gel ready lor this 
unreal hlorjdholh, which is a lour-de-force 
exploration into splatter. A muppel cal rips up 
pulsating brains; a naked girl strapped to a 
table is graphically chainsawed for cannibalis- 
tic purposes, and suddenly we're off into the 
most unusual film I’ve seen in quite some lime. 
The plot is incredibly vague, the main narrative 
concerning Fulci's apparent degeneration into 
schizophrenia - everywhere he looks he sees 
graphic scenes of dismemberment, echoing his 
depraved film output. Seeing such a legend of 
splatter cinema fumbling abnut in front of the 
camera is an unusual experience to say the 
least. 

NIGHTMARE CONCERT is in actual fact sever- 
al unfinished projects rolled into one can of 
film, the result being uneven and confusing, 
Ihe plot IS wildly disjointed, and action fre- 
quently screams to a halt so a further scene ot 
blcxidlelling can take place. By its bizarre cli- 
max, NIGHTMARE CONCERT has become a 
greatest hits package of gross-out cinema; 
heads are lopped off; chainsaws w-heelecl with 
wild abandon: there are numerous throat slit- 
lings; eye gougings and even a bout of 
microwave carnage to keep the most demand- 
ing gore-hound slocked up for quite some 
time! 

While the film may not be vintage Fulci, it is 
undeniably bizarre, though wildly garbled and 
self-indulgeni beyond belief, perhaps even an 
epitaph to every gore-hounds favourite son. For 
those nostalgic for Ihe headv days of THE 
BEYOND and HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, this 
may fill the void slightly, but at a lime when 
the truest purveyors nf sick celluloid are over 
the border in Germany, NIGHTMARE CON- 
CERT seems somewhat behind the limes. 
Incidentally even in view of ZOMBIE 
FLESHEATERS being hack on the shelves, don't 
hold your breath for this getting a UK release - 
Mmes haven’t changed that much! 

STEVE CHAMBERS 

MGHT OF THE LIVING 
DEAD 

X X X X 

USA 1990 

DIRECTED BY TOM SAVINI 

STARRING TONY TODD; PATRICIA TALL- 
MAN: TOM TOWLES; McKEE ANDERSON; 


WILLIAM BUTLER; KATE FINNERAN; BILL 
MOSLEY. 

A lot of blood has passed under the bridge 
since Gcxirge Romeni and |uhn Russu's maslor- 
lul NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD all but re- 
clefin«*d lh«' horror genre in the late sixties. And 
alter two seriuels, Ixiih regarded as classics in 
their own right, il was something of a dubious 
decision to gu back to Ihe Iwginning and start il 
all over, and although this Pits rendition under 
the directorial control ol Tom Savini won't 
change the face ol horror like its iniluence, il Is 
still a fine horror outing, and its non-emer- 
gance in the UK remains a great myslerv- 
Prior knowledge of the original NIGHT is 
essential lo fullv appreciate some ol Ihe plot 
developments in this re-make, right from the 
start our preconceptions are altered, as what 
we expect lo happen, after being so familiar 
from the original is turned around. Quite 
whether such a ploy is the ideal avenue is 
uncertain, and certainly Ihe film offers little m 
Ihe way of new shocks, the story itself slicking 
very closely lo the sixties classic. 

Alter the initial graveyard opening which olTers 
up a clever twist, the heroine of the piece 
Barbara (Tallmani tlees to the safety of a seem- 
ingly deserted farmhouse, as she did all those 
years ago. anti from herein the familiaT siege 
lakes place, as the army of living dead encircle 
the farmstead. 

Surprisingly, coming from such a renowned 
'hloodlelter' as Savini, the gore is quite mini- 
mal, he opting for suspense instead, though 
considering what has gone before in such as 
DAY OF THE DEAD and even the new BRAIN 
DEAD, such a policy is strangely undermined. 
The acting is of a high standard, Tallman as 
Barbara is particularly effective as a far more 
resourceful and liberated character, in fact it is 
she who is the main focus of attention - obvi- 
ously in the 90s an independenl woman was 
seen as more compelling then an independent 
black man, though in his role of Ben, the origi- 
nal's pivotal character, Tony Todd is fine, his 
outcome full of sarcastic irony. The excellent 
Tom Towles lOtis of HENRY famel is perfect as 
the obnoxious Harry Cooper whose character 
also suffers a different fate In previously. 

If I was in criticise the film. Ihe reason for the 
dead rising is left even more vague than before, 
and the plot slicks rather loo citjse lo the origi- 
nal, but the new NIGHT OF THE LIVING 
DEAD is a claustrophobic and compelling 
movie, and surely with such a (jedigreo and 
obvious audience, some resourceful distributor 
ought lo be going out of their way lo gel this 
film into the UK. 

NICK lOHNSON 



33 



NEW STORIES FROM 
THE TWIUGHT ZONE. 

Ed Martin & H Greenberg 
(Warner Books £8.99) 

Straishi Ifoin the fourtli diinen.sicm and ccin- 
vcnicnily finding shelf space at your local 
’*■, 11 . >mith.s is this humpcr collection 
original short stories used as .source material 
for the colourised and res'uiiiped episodes 
of "THE TVilLIGHT ZONE' series. Us an 
impressive portrait of talent including shad- 
ow^’ scrihlilings from the likes of Arthur C 
Clarke 'Tlie Star'. Richard Maihestin 'Button, 
Button'. Ray Bradhurv- 'llie Burning .Man' 
and Rohert Silverberg 'To See The Invisihle 
.Man'. The resulting 'Zone' episodes unfortu- 
nately did not live up to the promise of 
most of the ouLstanding shorts in the collec- 
tion. no douht hampered by budget con- 
straints and the cx:casional other dimension- 
al spanner in the works - Director Wes 
Craven springs to mind here, Emerging 
perched on top of this wealth of sitadow 
and light is Robert R McCammon's 
'Mghcraw lets' entry which survived the 
print t<5 film prcKcss with few battle scars, 
I'tecoming quite a memorable epistxie in the 
often mgreltably average .series. 

If you're a Zone' completist then by all 
means make room on that btxikshelf. if you 
iusi want to enioy some gtKtd fiction ilien 
be patient, it just mtght make its own way 
there itself Icue THAT music) 

HEATHEN 
Shaun Hutson 
(Littlc.Brown £13.99) 

Horror literature Ls flying the white flag in 
-Shaun flutson's face. Fn'in early sliockers 
like •DEA'nfnAY' and "SHADOWS'. Ivim 
in the posi-apocalyptic fur\' of graphic fic- 
liop's bastard conceivemeni, Hutson has 
made an undeniable and sometimes unwel- 
come impact witli the unrestrained, no 
compromise approach to horror literature. 
With -ASSASSIN" and "RENTGADHS" how- 
ever it became apparent that Hutson was 
intent on taking ihe genre steadily away 
from the well-trodden ground of ancient 
curses and flesh eating monster scenario'.s. 
The publication of "HEATHEN"' i.s in effect 
Hutson's 'nies of pas,sage' ntnel. emerging 
onto hallowed ground smoking and 
-screaming .somewhere between thriller and 
dark fiction territory, it is here where 
Hutson .sets about his formidable craft, 
leashing every rule and protocol in accepted 
tliriller writing with pure demented relish. 

HutMin again explores more cembum' ter- 
ror as opposed U) 'other wordly' threat, but 
cleverly retains elements of the .supernatural 
with "TTte Sons Of .Midnight' a .secret stKieiy 
of occullisls and pur.suers of all things 
na.sty. ■HEATHEN" uncovers the groups 
hidden anti-social activities with the help of 
a widowed authors wife intent on discover- 
ing the truth alxiut her husbancLs' death in a 
questionable aceidenl. In her investigation 


the two factions become increasingly 
embroiled in bliHxiy gun battles to locale an 
ancient book, which, while holding our 
heroine's answers to her husbands demi.se 
is also \ ital to 'Tile Soas Of .Midnight s' con- 
tinued murderous existence. Needless to 
say. no-one wani.s to lie a loser... 

Hutson, in a commendable display of 
restraint, holds back the real body count 
until the climatic chapter (a la TAXI DRI- 
\'ER) where lashings of violence, sh<K)i-oui s 
and arterial sprays drench the proceedings, 
doubtless not disappointing the graphic hor- 
ror fraiemiiy of Hutson's rc*adership. 

But what makes "HE.ATHEN" stand (decapi- 
tatedi head and shoulders alvive the rest i.s 
that Hutson has .successfully hijacked liotli 
horror and thriller elements into a literary 
hybritl which he holds a knife to the throat 
of, "HEATHE.N" is Hutson's most accom- 
plished work to date, the literary equivalent 
to Russian Roulette exiepi the ehamliers of 
Hut,snn's "HEA'IHEN" are all fully loaded..,. 

JAMES HERBERT, BY 
HORROR HAUNTED 
Ed Stephen Jones 
(N.E.L. £17.99) 

Mmm. pricey (even for a hardback > but in 
return is a recommended and fastidious 
overview of the King Rat's lengthy and pro- 
ductive association with horror literature, 
spanning his legacy of printed terrors from 
hungry rodents, homicidal pea-soupers 
thmugii to the more commercially excessi- 
hle thrillers of tixfus 

Steve jones and Herlten's publishers obvi- 
ously agreed that a reiro was long overdue 
and the btxik, whilst a.ssured of reasonable 
success no matter what lies between tbe 
covers, d(x?s make a fine stab at presenting 
entertaining pieces of information both 
culled fnmi the Ixxikworkl and private life 
of Britain's most popular peddler of dark 
fiction. 

Presented in a senes nl individual comment 
and observation the book contains mind 
expanding scribhlings from fellow authors 
and those with a hand (or talon) slipped 
somewhere in the big had world of horror 
fiction. .Stephen King's suitably frenetic 
inlrcxluction compares Herbert's emergence 
•similar to iliai of the late great Sex Pistols 
and their explosion into the British music 
scene - nothing being the same e\er again 
.md influencing a whole generation of new 
talent. Home grown talent Stephen Laws 
and Gallagher also take turns to dip nibs 
into the bl<xxl-rcd inkwell and offer their 
tnbmes to the man who Itegan horror litera- 
ture on ifius side of the Atlantic. 

In all “By Horror Haunted" i.s an eager ency- 
clopedia of Herberi-dom which should 
make the pcK'kets itch of horror enihusia.sis 
and the general bcKik buying public alike. 
James himself emerges from the gore- 
drenched prexeedings as a guy you d want 
your mother to meet, approachable and 
genuine about his work. .A.s one newspaper 
quote in the book describes him, "In real 
life James Herbert is to evil what Bela 


Edited by Gareth James 


Lugo.si is to breakdancing'. Bu\' tx-g or bor- 


THE HOODOO MAN 

Steve Hartns 
(Headline £15.99) 

If I'm honest 1 slipped Steve Harris ADVEN- 
TTRELAND' hack whence it came to the 
local bookshelf after scanning the book.s 
cover glib of unlnisiworthy ghost irains, 
•spiHjkv fairgrounds and teenagers in peril. 
The I'airground' sub genre, shameles.sly 
exploited in the late ’’O's and early HD's, can 
barely stifle a yawn nowadays, and any 
ideals ! had of a pns,sihle major new British 
tiorror talent emerging went the way of the 
bixik-shop exit drxir. 

So it wa.s with a certain amount of resigna- 
tion that a review copy of THE HOODOO 
■MA.N was creaked open to its first chapter. 
So is relative newcomer Steve Harris any 
good?. Vl'cll in vour face initially is that 
HOODOO is well written.-.very well writ- 
ten. And. alxiui a Quarter of the way into its 
pages a comfortable feeling of dej>\-u set- 
tled on this reviewer, Steve Harris writes as 
well as Stephen King. You just re-read that 



line didn't you, mouth in a perfect 'O’. B-B- 
But no one writes l-i-like S-S-S-Stephen 
King you whisper. They do now and mom 
gratifvingly a British author does. Steve 
Harri.s s ffOODOO MAN holds both the 
cliaracierisation and eye for detail so long 
exclusive to the King territory, Idending it 
with plot and situations original to Harris's 
own archetv'pal breed of ficlion. 

Indeed ffOt.)DOC} is reminiscent of Kings 
THE DEAD ZO.NH' in subject matter and 
influence - King's Jolin Smith everyman per- 
sona altered to a .sireetwi.se central charac- 
ter, Danny Stafford, intensely helieveable 
and credible thanks to Harris's unblinking 
eye lor normal daily life. .Stafford turns out 
to lx* 3 rcliiciam p.sychic, thanks to a bullet 
through the brain ai five years age, which 
has given him the ability to see into the 
futures of oiiiers and himself- rnfoniinately 


34 



Stafford's visions are plagued by ‘The 
Hoodoo Man', a sort of free floating psychic 
serial killer, who also pti.ssess the premoni- 
lionry know-how. Stafford, through his 
vision.s, tries to alter the future for the bet- 
ter, the ‘Hoodoo Man' however has ver>' 
different ideas... 

HighlighLs of the btxik. and there are many, 
include a quite ouLsianding .scene involving 
a petrol tanker and speeding car colliding at 
an isolated crossroads with grippingly 
impressi\’e resulus and not to mention splen- 
did barf bag inducing details. Perhaps 
.somewhat churlishly, the climax to the 
novel, with its psychic confrontation, is a lit- 
tle too hallucinatory and distances the read- 
er slightly from the proceedings, hut is 
hardly a black mark compared to the rest of 
the books reader-stranglehold. 

Ste\e Harri.s deserves to be a brand name 
after this one .md once in paperback I've a 
feeling that THE HOODOO MA.N' will do 
just that 

JUST PUBUSHED: 

Sci Fi/Fantasy 

QUARANTINE 
Greg Egan 
(Legend £14.99 HBK) 

Debut novel from Australian author, a tale 
of hio-engineering and isolation of earths 
solar .system from the rest of the universe. 

HOMECOMING 
Orson Scott Card 
(Legend £14.99 HBK) 

Book one of a major new fantasy series 
from the winner of Ixith Hugo and Xehula 
Science Fiaion awards. Artificial intelligence 
threatens catasiropljic war on a harmoniou.s 
planet after system.s failure. 

HIDDEN ECHOES 
Mike Jefferies 
(Grafton £8.99 PBK) 

Dark fantasy. The clocks of Creation are 
winding down and earth is being ta*ared to 
plagues of frogs and strange bea,sts as reali- 
ty fades. I>evastation of ilic world will fol- 
low unle.ss an answer on 'the other side' 
can be found. 

New .Science ficiion Fantasy publishers .MII.- 
LEN.SIl'M celebrate their arrival with three 
title releases ‘THE FOREVER KING" .Molly 
Cochran & 'OCarren Murphy (£14.99 HBK). 
-A FIRF. IIPON THE DEEP" Victor Vingc 
{£14.99 HBK) and ‘THE WHITE MISTS OF 
POWER" Kristine K Ru.sch (£14,99 HBK) 

Horror 

CHILDREN OF THE 
NIGHT 
Dan Simmons 
(Headline £15.99 HBK) 

Cult author Simmons bring.s us a tale of 
Vampire.s and A.l.D.S (no its not a comedy) 
when a relief worker discovers an orphaned 
child holds an incredibly well developed 
immune system, The child in question 
come.s from Romania and more .specifically 


Transylvania. ...1 think you can work the 
rest out for yourselves. 

THE FUNHOLISE 
Dean Koontz 
(Headline £15-99 HDK) 

Koontz hack catalogue continues to keep 
Headline' hooks afloat (can I say that?) 
(Vou just did - Ed). Again it.s yet another 
reprint of a Koontz pseudonym Owen U'est, 
and the one they made that punishingly 
drab movie about. Antiquated, tedious and 
yes. pointless. Koontz compleiists only. 

CATHEDRAL 
Ian Maitland 
(Headline £15.99 HBK) 

First novel that deals with, welt, a cathedral 
basically. A school boy confronts his 
demons from the past when a place of wor- 
ship becomes an obsession. The terror soon 
follows... 

MIDNIGHT’S LAIR 
Richard Laymon 
(Headline £15.99 HDK) 

Laymon's Richard Kelly pseudonym first 
published by the defuncT W.H. Allen con- 
cern in 1988. Pleasing B-movie stuff about a 
group of tourists trapped in an undergniund 
cavern and stumbling upon the bestial crea- 
tures that frequent there. 

Little Brown' publishers' have a horror 
antholog)' slated for Decemlier NARROW 
HOUSES edited by Peter Crowther The 
blissful array of contributors (predominately 
new' authors) include Stephen Gallagher. 
Peter James and Chet Williamson, Also 
putting pen to paper are Ray Bradbur>'. 
Rolwrt HoidstcKk and Jonathan Carroll. 
Gareth James 

A YOUTH IN BABYI.ON 
David F. Friedman 
(£5.99) 

For anyone who doesn't know, David 
Friedman is the .American exploitation 
.showman who produced such infamous 
pictures a.s BLOOD FEAST; TVil’O THOU- 
SAND .MANIACS; ILSA SHE WOLF OF THE 
SS and THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF 
7-ORRO. He was also president of the Adult 
Film As.sociaiion of America for a time and 
this is the first pan of his autobiography (to 
be continued in KINGS OF BAIM.ON). It 
documenLs in a no.stalgic. pleasantly read- 
able sev'le hi.s early adventures in the movie 
world up to and including his as.sociation 
with Herschell Gordon Lewis, 

■Die biKik is worth reading for a number of 
reasons, one being that it Ls a ver>' personal 
(and highly believable) account of the 
.American exploitation industiy in the 1950's 
and 60's. His memories from the shtKXing 
of individual pictures are often amusing and 
always of interest - how Karen Black's 
boyfriend paid them to cut her nude scenes 
from THE PRIME TIME, or how he and 
Lewis found that to shoot in some nudist 
camp.s. they too would have to disrobe! 


Finding something for nudists in do after 
volleyball l>ecame pa.sse, vsas also a prob- 
lem until Lewis came up with llie perfect 
conclusion • irampolining! 

Fans of BLOOD FEAST and TWO THOU- 
-SAND .MANIACS will appreciate Friedman s 
comment on the .star of those two films, ih;it 
of all the attractive girls he worked with 
during his years in film-making, he only- 
had carnal knowledge of one - and that one 
was Connie .Mason! U iih an illustrated cen- 
tre section, this book is a must-read for 
those with an interest in the po\eny-row 
side of American mov ie hisiorv . 

John L Pmhetl 



I tbulRecoimdSlvudd^ratVMWnrtweti* 

I StougMw and MuWoHon o( Nubto WMjng GHs - 
I InaWMdsKfHotrandoutAnclantml 



ATTACK OF THE B 
MOVIE MAKERS 
J.R. Bookwalter (1991 ) 

Bookwalter. director of THE DEAD NEXF 
DOOR and ROBOT MN.IA. has written .in 
affectionate tribute to ultra-low budget film- 
makers David DcColeau and Fred (ilen Ray. 
The Ixiok' is actually a computer-produced 
manu.scripi that Ls nice and easy to re;id, hut 
there is obviously a problem with photo 
reproduction as they really are .iwful - luck- 
ily there aren't that many. Ttie subject mat- 
ter purptias to lx.’ an in-depib liKik at low 
budget filmmaking, but other than a fasci- 
nating chapter on disiribulion. there is little 
infomtation that any aspiring directors could 
u.se. Both Ray and DeCoteau talk frankly 
and are even genuinely interesting at times. 
Unfortunately, the writer does far Uki niiicli 
toadying leven though lie tx-casionally tries 
not to), he simply refuses to accept that 
most <if his subject s films are pretty crap - 
admittedly not .ill. there are a few gems in a 
don't-take-lhem-at-all-.seriously bubble gum 
kind of way; I m thinking CREEPOZOID.s. 
DR AUEN. STEEL .AND LACK, TO.MH. DEEP 
SPACE, CHAINSA'CC HOOKERS, but. in gen- 
eral. I'm not sure following their example is 
such a great idea when you think films like 
DARK .STAR. M.\D MAX, STREET TRASH, 
HENRY PORTRAIT OF A .SERIAL KILLER 
etc. etc. were made on similar budgets. The 
book IS an entertaining read tluiugh with a 
useful filmogr.iphy of Ixiih directors .it the 

Mkhcu'l Sinner 


35 





What would you expect tram a film with the title THUNDERCRACK!? "Weather formations over 
Nevada and the south western United States" perhaps? Indeed that was the description that 
accompanied the film when if first came through British customs. However, without any mention 
of hard-core sex, peeled cucumbers and a bestial marriage, such a synopsis could not be further 
from the truth. 

Gaining notoriety as a midnight attraction at the infamous Nuart Theatre in west L.A. and 
frequently seen here at London's Scala cinema, this XXX rated epic features the wonderful 
Marion Eaton (with positively demonic eyebrows and a vomit covered wig) as the nostalgic, 
voyeuristic, aicoholic widow Gert Hammond. A woman with quite a few dark secrets up her 
sleeve - her deceased husband (killed by carnivorous locusts) lies pickled In jars and her son is 
held prisoner in the basement along with his huge swollen testicles (an idea based on an 
Illustration in an old medical book), a condition contracted whilst in search of erotica in Borneo. 

For this wild and stormy night. Mrs Hammond dramatically plays host to her stranded guests 
(which include a circus animal keeper, a ladies underwear designer with a phobia of ladies 
underwear and the fundamentalist wife of a country singer), who are systematically led to her ill- 
fated son's sex den. A room well equipped with pornography, sex toys, KY jelly and spy holes for 
Gert's eyes only. As she watches she masturbates with a peeled cucumber (that eventually gets 
chewed on by the fundamentalist lady. Yukl). As time goes by, secrets are exposed, stories are 
told and relationships are either built or devastated. 

To be more precise about the narrative structure would be impossible without having a copy of 
the film constantly on hand as sub-plot after sub-plot is introduced at a frantic pace, resulting not 
in an incoherent mess but one of cult cinema's great joys. The script is probably the most 
exhilarating you will ever encounter, I suggest that script-writer George Kuchar is indeed the 
mentally demented bastard offspring of Tennessee Williams. 

After being given a basic story by the director (friend and one time student) Curt McDowell and 
Mark Ellinger, Kuchar wrote this epic whilst spending time (as he does each year) studying 
weather conditions in Oklahoma. 

Originally planned to have a running time of around BOmins.. the complete uncut version is still 
bulging with extravagant monologues dealing with a multitude of clashing emotions and 
situations. The entire cast never cease to talk. Even when participating in strenuous sexual 
activities, these characters spout (not the expected porno dregs like "take that big dick!") 
wretched lines of outrageous dialogue. 

Despite the explicit visuals, sex THUNDERCRACK! - style has nothing to do with eroticism, ft Is 
basic and unexplored hard core, due not only to the fact that Kuchar hates trying to be erotic (it 
embarrasses him), but he loves to dwell on showing us the essential ugliness of human 
behaviour. Generally he shows us down the toilet, but here he stays in the bedroom, revealing 
ugly people with lubricant dripping genitals, gagging during fellatio and Fighting a losing battle 
with cumbersome sex toys. The "Lover's Guide" this is certainly not! The effect, as one Variety 
critic correctly stated, is revulsion. However, sexual gloss is not what Kuchar and McDowell have 
in mind, both are no strangers to the field of sexuality (especially Inversions of traditional 
sexuality). McDoweli’s camera is often confrontational on the subject, but here, the sex is 
satirical. 

Camp? Well that depends on what side of Susan Sontag you fall, so that's up to you to decide. As 
for being a parody, that’s definite. THUNDERCRACK! is one huge parody of just about every film 
genre Imaginable, from "old dark house" to "hard core porn", and It works on every level. 

Curt McDowell died of AIDS related illness in 1987 at the age of 42. Dn Saturday 2nd May this 
year the Scala cinema played a fitting tribute to this great experimental film-maker, not only with 
a package of rare film material but also with the invitation to "Meet Marlon Eaton", who talked 
openly about her acting career with McDowell and the Kuchar twins. Perhaps the presentation of 
a floral bouquet spiked with cucumbers was a little predictable, but a discussion on the subject 
proved enlightening (Eaton did not want to do that particular scene but agreed on the grounds 
that It would not be excessively graphic... McDowell then secretly used a telephoto lens for 
maximum explicitness). Unfortunately, the audience that day had been infiltrated by an angry 
bigot who became rude and contemptuous towards the guest of honour because 
THUNDERCRACK!, along with at! it's "unsafe" sex, did not have a preceding "AIDS warning". To 
question the possibility of such a preface (patronising as it may seem) is fair enough, but to 
demand? 

That particular gent finally gave up the ghost and made his ex'it shouting this time at the audience 
(that we all suffer a certain "bloodlust"...! ask you!). 

Despite my praise of this cult classic. I recommend it only to terminal sleaze addicts like myself. 
To the uninitiated however, all I can say is. beware, you may find yourself outraged! 

David Greenall. 

36 " - - - 



THUNDERCRACK! 


USA197S 

A Thomas Bros. Film Studio release. 

Director, photography, editor, effects - Curt 
McDowell. 

Producers • John and Charles Thomas. 
Assistant Director • Margo O'Connor. 
Screenplay, lighting, effects - George Kuchar. 
Music, sound effects - Mark Ellinger. 

Sound recording - Roy Ramsing, (music) Steve 
Malcolm. 

Coiffure, make-up - Mr. Dominic (aka George 
Kuchar). 


Cast. 

Marion Eaton (Gert Hammond). 

George Kuchar (Bing). 

Melinda McDowell (Sash). 

Mookie Blodgett (Chandler). 

Moira Benson (Roo). 

Rick Johnson (Toydy). 

Ken Scudder (Bond). 

Maggie Pyle (Willene). 

Bernie Boyle (SenorTostada). 

Mark Ellinger (Charlie Hammond). 

Virginia Giritlian (Sarah Lou Phillips). 
Michele Gross (Hula Hoop Girl). 

Laurie Hendricks (Simon Cassidy's Mother). 
Billy Paradise (Mrs. Harlan). 

John Thomas (Simon Cassidy). 

Pamela Primate (Medusa). 


16mm. B&W. 

Original running time - 
ISBmins. (Monthly Film Bulletin). 
ISOmins. (Variety). 

Cut versions • 124mins. and 90mins. 


SEomms ; 


nomi Incidenuily, to wc'n a NUKE 'EM HIGH III 
poster, keep reading! it seems they’re always try- 
ing to prematurely bury the western, despite the 
^act that most recent ones seem to have made 
big bucks at the box-office (SILVERADO, YOUNG 
GUNS 1 & II, DANCES WITH WOLVES) and the lat- 
est IS also one of the best. Clint Eastwood is 
always watchable. but THE UNFORGIVEN is some- 
thing else - shelve your narrow minded horror 
attitude and check this one out. Talking of tough 
guys, don't miss THE LAST BOY SCOUT starring 
Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans. Cynical, sarcastic 
and ultra-violent, this is unquestionably the 
action film of the year, and beats LETHAL 
WEAPON 3 at Its own game! Written by Shane 
Black (LETHAL WEAPON, MONSTER SQUAD) this 
IS full of some of the best one-liners yet and has 
my favourite line of the year with: "Shit, we’re 
being beaten up by the inventor of scrabble!" 
See rtl Bruce Willis can also be found in the amaz- 
ingly off-beat DEATH BECOMES HER, which 
although co-starring Meryl Streep and Goldie 
Hawn, is still recommended to MONSTROID read- 
ers because of its amazing 
special effects. State of the 
art springs to mind, Robert 
(ROGER RABBIT) Zemeckis 
directs. Finally, if you're 
intrigued by this issues' DIY 
DUNGEON column and 
want to learn more about 
make-up and special effects, 
can 1 suggest you write off 
to John Woodbridge pro- 
ductions, for their useful 
newsletter. For those wanti- 
ng visual instruction, John is 
presenting a series of free 
foam latex demonstrations 
at the puppet centre. 
Battersea Arts Centre in 
early November (as well as a 
larger event in Los Angeles 


CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH III 


whose budgets stretch that 
far) contact John at P,0. BOX 78 SOUTHALL, 
MIDDX UB2 5YH. 

CORRECTION: SURVIVAL QUEST (Page 12). 
Enrique Hank Lopez’s book THEY LIVED ON 
HUMAN FLESH was retitled the HIGHEST HELL 
for UK release, and loses its lurid cover and inner 
photos just thought I’d point that out to avoid 
confusion, ok Mike? 



RANK SHOCKS 

Some of the most promising upcoming projects 
seem to be under the Rank banner. First up is 
Bernard Rose's adaptation of Clive Barker’s short 
story The Forbidden, the film adaptation entitled 
CANDYMAN With a cast that toplines Virginia 
Madsen (memorable from HIGHLANDER 2 and as 
the scheming slut in Dennis Hopper’s HOT SPOT), 
the film also stars Xander Berkely (TERMINATOR 
2); Kasi Lemmons (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) and as 
the film’s titular mythical monstrosity Tony Todd, 
who as well as appearing m STAR TREK : THE 
NEXT GENERATION as K’urn the Klingon brother 
of Lt. Worf, will soon become best known to 
genre fans as the new Ben in Savim’s re-make of 
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. CANDYMAN is 
quote 'A horror film in the real sense of the 
word - it deals with the elements of dread and 
death, not just a man with a big knife!" refresh- 
ing words indeed from director Rose, who 
helmed the minor classic PAPERHOUSE. CANDY- 
MAN is as forward word suggests, excellent 
indeed, and looks set to become one of the years’ 
sleeper 'hits' - and let’s face it, we need one! Also 
ready for release from Rank though when is 
uncertain, is Ate De Jong’s quirky HIGHWAY TO 
HELL, which I caught recently. Wonderfully errat- 
ic and bizarre to a point, HIGHWAY TO HELL stars 
Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson (soon to be seen in 
20th Century Fox’s BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) 
and Patrick Bergin who has great fun as the ulti- 
mate villain - catch this lively shock’n’giggle fest 
when it does see the light of day. Finally from 
Rank, a film destined to be one of next year’s 
most controversial outings, entitled RESERVOIR 
DOGS, this non-genre outing concentrates on a 
failed robbery attempt carried out by underworld 
thugs. However what will undoubtedly bring 
about the film's notoriety is its brutal violence - 
no ordinary mainstream splatter here, this film is 
graphic in the extreme. Tentatively planned for a 
January release, we hope to have coverage of all 

GO//VG WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE 
BEFORE ■ AT LAST! 



Following the BBC'S recent airing of the original 
previously unscreened Star Trek pilot The Cage’ 
to herald its 2Sth anniversary re-run of the origi- 
nal series, the Beeb has seemingly finally thrown 
in the towel and has decided to screen the 
famous four banned episodes. The genesis of 
these episodes being banned came about in 1970 
with the showing of the gpisode 'Min’ for the 
first time, which was met by a few letters of out- 
rage from concerned parents. With this in mind, 
the BBC scanned all its episodes and removed a 
further three ’Whom Gods Destroy’, 'The Empath' 
and 'Plato’s Stepchildren', these never being 
shown - until now it would seem. None of the 
episodes are particularly outrageous - ‘Miri’ con- 
cerns virus-infested children; 'Whom Gods 
Destroy’ is set in an insane asylum and was seem- 
ingly banned for a scene where a woman Is 
"blown-up"; The Empath’ contains some incredi- 


bly mild torture and McCoy on his death-bed and 
finally 'Plato’s Stepchildren’ centres on mind-con- 
trol and despite some awkward scenes of satire, 
seems to have nothing in it whatsoever that 
could merit its censorship. As stated the BBC is 
confident it will screen the senes in its entirety 
this time, though it has got the option of cutting 
the episode rather than banning it outright (an 
action taken with THE NEXT GENERATION on a 
couple of occasions), so to see what happens 
you’ll just have to be in 
front of your TV on 
Wednesday evenings. The 
first of the banned episodes 
'Min’ is the eighth episode 
after the pilot and sand- 
wiches between 'What are 
little girls made of?' and 
'Dagger of the mind'. 

COMING UP! 

Sam Raimi's eagerly awaited 
ARMY OF DARKNESS (EVIL 
DEAD III) Will premiere on 
these shores at the London 
Film Festival in November 
(which we will have a full 
report on next issue), and 
gets a national release early 
next year. Also on show will 
be Savini’s NIGHT OF THE 
LIVING DEAD, which is still 
awaiting a full UK distribu- 
tion (see preview on page 33). Talking of film fes- 
tivals, there should be further 'Nothing Shocking’ 
and 'Film Extremes’ fests before the year’s close. 
Coppola’s DRACULA THE UNTOLD STORY opens 
in the States on Friday 13th November, after a 
delayed release whilst re-shoots were completed, 
this really could be a make or break film for the 
future of the genre - keep your fangs crossed. 
Talking of FRIDAY THE 13TH don’t be fooled by 
New Line stating they've shelved any future pro- 
jects • they deliberately bought the rights to the 
series to film the long delayed JASON V FREDDY 
project. This will come about depending on 
Freddy’s immediate agenda, it now seems certain 
as revealed by Peter Jackson in our interview this 
issue, that his treatment of the Elm St myth won’t 
get the greenlight, but get this - it would seem 
Wes Craven has made up with the New Line suits, 
and he may well do another ELM STREET 
encounter himself - does anybody care? PET 
SEMETARY II has failed to live up to the box- 
office expectations of the original - does anybody 
care pt 2? Spielberg's pet project (I thought 
HOOK was his pet project?) JURASSIC PARK wilt 
now use revolutionary computer generated spe- 
cial effects, and could well revolutionise film 
effects work as we know it (sounds like a Chewitt 
advert?) and it certainly has to do major business 
at the box-office, for the budget is already in 
excess of 100 million dollarsi If nothing else, it 
should mark the return of the rampaging 
dinosaur movie. Roger Vadim will make BAR- 
BARELLA 2 with TWIN PEAKette Sherilyn Fenn. 
Medusa have MANIAC COP 3 lined up for early 
next year - more on that soon, Anthony Perkins 
has died of AIDS related diseases. He will of 
course be eternally remembered for his timeless 
portrayal of Norman Bates in the original PSY- 
CHO and its sequels, and although he found his 
way into numerous film projects, he was always 
typecast and invariably destined to play 'the psy- 
cho’ in such dire fare as EDGE OF SANITY. 
Interestingly one of his last roles was In Stuart 
Gordon's little seen TV movie DAUGHTER OF 
DARKNESS where Perkins played a vampire - who 
was a good guy! He will be greatly missed within 
the genre, and we hope to have a fuller tribute 
and full filmography next issue. From the master- 
ful to the miserable, Troma have CLASS OF NUKE 
’EM HIGH 111 ; THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE SUB- 
HUMANOID raring for release on the tail of NUKE 
’EM HIGH II which comes out on Scimitar about 


HAVE YOUR SAY 


You’ll have seen myself and the other writers giv- 
ing our opinions on the latest releases on page 
31, with our review grid. Well I don’t see why we 
should have all the fun, so get writing now - give 
us your ratings of the films covered (rating them 
0-5 as we have) and next issue we’il print up a 
grid of reader’s opinions • that way we can not 
only see what sort of junk you lot enjoy, but it 
wili give us some idea as to what we should be 
covering in future issues. As if that’s not enough, 
to tempt you into getting up off your butt and 
posting your response the first five reader’s rat- 
ings pulled out of Richard Griffith’s Y-fronts will 
receive an exclusive THE GOOD, THE BAD AND 
THE SUBHUMANOID: NUKE EM HIGH III quad 
poster 'Courtesy of Troma Inc" which are just like 
the ones that adorned the sea-front at Cannes 
earlier in the year - in fact they probably are the 
ones that adorned the sea-front. .. ..Send your 
ratings to the EDITOR’S ADDRESS. 


ALIEN TRIVIA ANSWERS! 

1) Nmlromo an hommafte lo aulhor Jcneph 
Conrad whow book THE UliKIXSTS wu the 
source maleriai of Ridley Scott's first film, 

2) Harry Dean Stanton. .3) Dan O’Bannon 
director of ilETUR.N OF THE UVING DEAD 
and the unreleased THE RE-SIlRREcrTED, 4) 
The Black Destroyer. 5) UYRCA AND THE 
OrTI.AWS, 6) Ellen and Dwayne, as 
revealed In AIJENS - THE SPECIAL EISITION. 
7) CONl'AMINAIION from Italian hack Luiid 
CozzL 8) GALAXY OF TERROR from Rofier 
Ciorman which bad an carty role for Rot^rt 
(Freddy Krueger) Englund. 9) MY TWO 
DADS, and finally 10) Fincher was an 
apprentice for Industrial Light and Magic 
on REniR.N OF THE JEDI! There, you learn 
something new every day don't youl 







THE CHURCH OF GODZILLA 

BECOME A REVEREND OF THE CHURCH AND 
RECEIVE YOUR OWN CERTIFICATE FOR ONLY £2. 
ALSO AVALABLE:- 

CHURCH OF GODZILLA T-SHIRTS. MEDITATION 
TAPES AND ENLIGHTENMENT PAMPHLETS. 

CFFC & CHURCH OF GODZILLA ANNOUNCE 
MONSTER MAYHEM FESTIVAL’ 

AT THE BIJOU THEATRE. WARDOUR ST. LONDON 
FOR FULL DETAILS OF ALL OF THE ABOVE SEND SAE TO.- 

CHURCH OF GODZILLA, 51 COTSWOLD COURT, 
GEE ST, LONDON. EClV 3RX 


JOHN FITTON 

(BOOKS AND MAGAZINES) 

a 


CHRISTMAS CATALOGUE 
JUST RELEASED 


THE GREATEST FANTASY MAIL ORDER 
SELECTION AVAILABLE ANYWHERE 
INCLUDES:- 

Dr Who/Star Trek/Star Trek Next Generation 
Blakes 7/Prisoner/ Anderson/Dangerman/Lost 
In Space/UNCLE/Avengers/l.T.C./Bond 
Horror and S.F. 

- FEATURING - 

* Books * Videos * Photos * Models * 

* CD's.Cassettes and LP's * Toys * 

* Games * Magazines * 

- ALSO BACK ISSUES OF - 
* Star Log * Dr. Who Magazine * TV Zone * 
* DWB * Frame * CineFX * 

♦ Next Generation Magazine etc... * 

Our 30 plus page IHusiraiad Catalogue Is absolutely FREEH! 

U.K. Customers just sand a First Class stamp 
Overseas Five Oodars or 4 International Reply Coupons to: 

JOHN FITTON (BOOKS h MAGAZINES) 

1 ORCHARD WAY. HENSALL, Nr. GOOLE 
NORTH HUMBERSIDE, ENGLAND, ON 1 4 ORT. 



T-SHIRTS 

NOW AVAILABLE FOR A STRICTLY LIMITED PERIOD ONLY 

THLSL HIGH QUALITY BLACK 
T-SHIRTS ARE EMBLAZONED 
WITH THE MONSTROID LOGO 
IN RED AND GREY. 

TO RECEIVE ONE OF THESE LIMITED EDITION 
INAUGURAL ISSUE SHIRTS SEND £8.95 INC. 
P&P TO:- IMAGERY STUDIOS, PEN ST, 
BOSTON, LINCS, PE2I 6DA. 

MAKE CHEQUES/P.O.S PAYABLE TO;- 

IMAGERY PUBLICATIONS 


|«$f)j;|y#^CLASSIRED 

FOR AN ECONOMICAL AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO 
ADVERTISE TO OTHER LIKE-MINDED FANS 
WORLDWIDE, WHY NOT UTILIZE OUR 
CLASSIFIED AD SECTION; 

INSERTIONS ARE ONLY £1.00 EACH WITH A 
MAXIMUM OF 30 WORDS (ADDITIONAL 
WORDS ARE 25p EACH). 

CHOOSE THE CORRECT CATEGORY FOR YOUR AD 
(FOR SALE / WANTED / SWAPS / FANZINES / 
MISCELLANEOUS) AND SEND WITH PAYMENT 
(PAYABLE TO:-IMAGERY PUBLICATIONS) TO THE 
EDITORIAL ADDRESS. 

NOTE:- THIS SERVICE IS STRICTLY FOR PRIVATE USE 
ONLY. 

MONSTROID RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE 
ADVERTS WHICH CONTRAVENE CURRENT LAWS. 





In the first of his regular new column, we've given RICHARD GRIFFITHS total 
freedom to express his opinions on current talking points. As Richard's ravings 
are entirely his own and not necessarily those shared by the editorial staff, can 
you please direct all hate mail and correspondance of a threatening or insulting 
nature to him direct and leave us alone THANK YOU!! 


Once again the horror press is filled with uninformed 
irrational hysteria declaring the United Kingdom a 
police state and slamming the B8FC for castrating the 
very essence of films. Letters from outraged fans 
include such choice phrases as "Nazi tactics", "A 
pointless, distasteful, scandalous activity”, and 
“Communism by default". What on earth can these 
people be talking aboutf 

The reason for this latest onslaught is, of course, the 
arrest in May of a group of people from the north of 
England - including some in their early teens - who 
were copying and selling videos of films that had no 
certificates. Newspaper and television reports at the 
time hyped the story up, as they are prone to do 
simply to outrage the general public, by saying the 
films showed cannibalism, torture and - quite 
untruthfully because there's no proof snuff movies 
exist - real-life murder. 

Fan reaction has been swift and cohesive. The police 
action is declared totally unacceptable for the 
democratic society we live in and easy well-worn 
targets like Mary Whitehouse and the BBFC are 
dragged into the argument even though they had 
nothing at all to do with the swoop. But, what is 
most disturbing is that the fan reaction completely 
misses the real issue. Not once does anyone 
condemn those who have been arrested for dragging 
horror into disrepute. And certainly nobody mentions 
the bare fact that these people were knowingly 
breaking the law of the country they live in. 

We have come a long way since the bad old days of 
the early 1 BBO's. A FRIDAY THE 1 3TH film has been 
shown on television, horror film magazines are 
thriving and ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS has had a very 
successful video re-release. The last thing we want to 
see is another public backlash against horror films. 
Yet, here was a group of people who thought they 
were above the law simply because it did not suit 
them. Well, contrary to popular opinion, laws are 
not made to be broken and even lf*we do not like 
them we have to live with them. Complaining about 
these arrests is tantamount to condoning lawlessness. 
The only outcome of the publicity created by the 
police action is that the selfish activities of the 
accused could trigger another round of horror-film 
bashing which will adversely affect us all. And 
please don't think that all horror fans are angels. 
There are some very, very nasty rumours going 



around concerning rival horror film festival 
organisers and the identity of the rat who supplied 
the police with a sheet of names and addresses that 
sparked off the raids just to save his own skin. Who 
can this be? Libel laws do not permit. 

We do not live in a Nazi, Communist or a police 
state. Using exaggerated, sensationalised phrases 
like these drops the horror fan-writer to the level of 
the gutter journalist who claims the films contain 
real deaths. 

We have rules, sure, covering film distribution and 
saying what is and isn't acceptable on the screen. 
Everything cannot be allowed. Lines have to be 
drawn. Child pornography, animal buggery and real 
deaths are clearly way over the line if such things 
exist. It then begins to get very subjective as to what 
is and isn't acceptable. This is why people are 
appointed and given the responsibility by the 
elected government to screen films that want a 
release in the UK. The BBFC is clearly not to blame 
this time and it is pathetic to see the organisation 
continually singled out for attack when it does a far, 
far better job than many of its equivalents abroad. 
Sure, you can point to, say, the Netherlands and see 
that the Dutch anything-goes attitude to film releases 
has no ill effects on the public and is clearly much 
more liberal than ours. But there are a lot, lot, more 
countries where films are treated much, much worse 
than in the UK. Look at what's happening in 
Finland, or even Germany now, where films such as 
HALLOWEEN and WAXWORK are unavailable 
because the powers that be do not consider them 
suitable for public consumption. Even the US, which 
is so sickeningly held up as a paragon of virtue by 
the misinformed, has more problems with 
certification than we have. The only difference is 
that films do not legally require a certificate in the 
US. If they did, Americans would look longingly 
over to the liberal UK. 

James Ferman, director of the BBFC, is reported to 
have said "the less censorship the better" and indeed 
cuts are not always made at the insistence of the 
BBFC. We all recognise the need for accurate 
certification and often it is the distributors who tone 
down a film to get a lower certificate, particularly 
with theatrical releases so more people can pay to 
see the movie. Sometimes these scenes are 
reinstated for the video release which receives a 
higher certificate. Compare and contrast the 
theatrical and video releases and certificates of BIG 
TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. So the only 
connection the BBFC has with the issue, is the 
question should it introduce a 21 certificate. I do not 
believe such a move would make much difference. 
THE NEW YORK RIPPER will never, ever get a legal 
release of any description in this country no matter 
what certificates are available. Also, it would simply 
be uneconomic for many small minority films to be 
released due to the high cost of certification, 
duplication, cover printing and distribution. And 
even if a 21 certificate was created, the high level of 
tolerance in the existing 18 certificate means any 21 
films would certainly contravene the Obscene 
Publications Act and we all know what that leads to. 

So next time you see such sensationalised reports on 
the television, understand the guilty are tarring the 
good name of horror films. Don't look for 
scapegoats. Recognise these people for the selfish 
criminals they are.